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Lightning snap Sabres three-game winning streak

Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist apiece in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win over Buffalo at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Sabres had more penalty minutes (17) than shots (14) in the loss that snapped their three-game winning streak.

Jordan Leopold blamed their lack of effort and urgency for their fall tonight.

“We’re getting something rolling there and then go out and have that,” Leopold said.

This gave the Lightning their first win without head coach Guy Boucher, who was fired on Saturday. The team’s new head coach, Jon Cooper, was watching from the press box and will be making his NHL debut on Friday.

Kevin Porter’s shot 13:41 into the game ricocheted off the goal post and stopped in the crease behind goaltender Mathieu Garon. Leopold and Marcus Foligno were within reach, but didn’t react quickly enough to stuff it in.

The Lightning were the ones to strike first. Stamkos fired one home and gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the first period. He leads the league with 23 goals.

St. Louis extended Tampa Bay’s lead on a two-man advantage by blasting a one-timer past Ryan Miller.

Leopold scored Buffalo’s lone goal with just over three minutes left of play.

Lightning snap Sabres three-game winning streak
TAMPA, FL – MARCH 26: Patrick Kaleta #36 of the Buffalo Sabres skates while Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates with his teammates after scoring his 23rd goal of the season during the first period of the game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 26, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.
(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Head coach Ron Rolston had no answers following the disappointing loss.

“There wasn’t a lot of urgency in anything tonight,” Rolston said.

Buffalo continued to struggle on the power play. They were 0 for 4 for the night and remain dead last in the NHL, capitalizing on only 12.5 percent of their power plays.

“That was the difference, Leopold said. “They scored on their power play and we didn’t.”

Miller faced 25 shots tonight. He has a 2.88 GAA and a .911 save percentage this season.

“No one’s gonna help us,” Miller said. “We gotta get two points every night.”

The Sabres are now 13-16-4 and head to the BB&T Center to face the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Three Stars:

  1. Steven Stamkos
  2. Martin St. Louis
  3. Keith Aulie

Notes:

• Thomas Vanek left the game with an upper-body injury.

• Drew Stafford was a healthy scratch for second straight game.

• Sabres faceoff percentage is 45.5%. (29th in the NHL.)

• Buffalo has 15 games left to play.

 

Olga Khmylev

Olga Khmylev

Buffalo Sabres Contributor
"Hockey is a man's sport." Thank you Mom & Dad! ☺ Ever since my dream of becoming the 1st female NHLer was crushed, I decided to pursue a career that would keep me involved with the most entertaining sport in the world. The Sabres are in my blood. My first game I ever attended was at age 2 and I think I spent 59 minutes of the game sleeping in the wives room... ha! Things have slightly changed since then and now my eyes are permanently glued to the ice whenever a game is on. I've been lucky enough to work as a PR intern for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2011 World Jrs and as a Results Manager for the International Ice Hockey Federation at the 2012 & 2013 World Jrs. The next chapter of my life involves entertaining you… Enjoy! 🙂 Twitter: @OlgaKhmylev
Olga Khmylev
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