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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Tampa Bay



(Thursday, October 13th)

Final Score: Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 3 (SO)

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek each scored a goal in a shootout to lead Buffalo over Tampa Bay, 4-3, at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Briere also tallied a goal in regulation and Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, who have won four of their first five contests. Maxim Afinogenov scored his fourth goal of the season in the win.

"We made some nice plays and they did a good job blocking some of out opportunities, "Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We tried a few cross crease passes and got stuffed by their defense."

Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, and Vaclav Prospal each registered a goal for Tampa Bay, which has dropped three of four. Jeff Grahame was solid in net for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, stopping 30 shots, but still suffered the loss.

"We played much better, I thought," Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella stated. "Our puck control was better, everything about our game was much better except some discipline problems as far as penalties."

After the visitors tied the contest in the third period, Briere started the shootout with his goal over the glove of Grahame. Martin St. Louis was up next for the Lightning, but Miller stopped his attempt. After each club failed on their next chance, Vanek was able to slide his shot through the legs of Grahame to seal the win for the Sabres.

Trailing 3-2, Buffalo tied the game midway through the final period. Toni Lydman wristed a shot from the point just after a Sabres power play expired and Afinogenov tipped it past Grahame for the equalizer.

In overtime, the Sabres could not convert on a pair of two-man advantages with less than two minutes to go, as the Tampa Bay penalty kill was up to the task. Buffalo had numerous chances in front, but Grahame stopped everything that came his way to send the game to a shootout.

The Sabres struck first, capitalizing on a Tampa Bay turnover in the first period. The Lightning's Dan Boyle was unable to handle the puck in his own zone and Briere collected it in the corner. The Sabres center then charged the net and slid it past Grahame, staking the visitors to a 1-0 lead.

The Lightning quickly responded as Richards found the back of the net for the home club. After St. Louis was unable to score, Richards collected the rebound and wristed a shot past Miller to tie the game at 1-1.

Lecavalier put Tampa Bay ahead 1:24 into the second period. Darryl Sydor blasted a shot from the point that the Lightning center was able to deflect into the net, but the Sabres evened the game at 2-2 midway through the period.

Ales Kotalik belted a shot on net that Grahame stopped, but the rebound fell right to Paul Gaustad, who was alone in front and able to lift it over the Lightning goaltender.

However, Tampa Bay surged back in front after Prospal's goal with just over six minutes left before the second intermission. Corey Sarich found Ruslan Fedotenko along the boards, who tipped the puck to Prospal. The Lightning forward then skated through the Buffalo zone and banked it off the back of Miller into the net to give the home club a 3-2 advantage.

Game Notes

It was Tampa Bay's first overtime and shootout of the season...The Lightning are now 2-for-30 on the power play this season...Buffalo, which is in the midst of a three-game road trip, will play five of its next seven games on the road...Sabres defenseman Jeff Jillson is day-to-day with a quad injury...Tmpa Bay went 3-1 against Buffalo in 2003-04...The Sabres are now 1-2-1 in their last four trips to Tampa.

10/13 23:40:26 ET


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