NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Tampa Bay
(Tuesday, December 5th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 1
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored their former captain on Dave Andreychuk Night, but Daniel Briere stole the show, netting his first-career hat trick to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Briere completed the feat by scoring twice in the first period and once in the final stanza. He now has 13 goals on the season and is tied for the team lead in points (33) with left winger Thomas Vanek.
"I don't know how to explain it, it's never happened before," said Briere of the hat trick. "It's certainly a great feeling to finally get one, but at the same time I have to give my linemates a lot of credit because of the plays they made tonight. When nights like this happen, it's not just about yourself."
Chris Drury had the other tally for the Sabres, who have won two of their last three games and five straight against the Lightning, outscoring the Bolts 30-13 during the streak. Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville each had two assists and Ryan Miller made 29 stops between the pipes.
Vincent Lecavalier had the only goal for Tampa Bay, which has lost four straight. Marc Denis had 21 saves in the loss.
The Lightning jumped on top, 1-0, before Buffalo responded with three unanswered tallies.
After the Bolts dumped the puck in, Lecavalier beat Hecht to the puck. Buffalo defenseman Dmitri Kalinin lost his stick and Lecavalier scooped up the loose puck, curled his blade around the left side of the net and jammed the disc past Miller just 53 ticks after the opening faceoff.
The Sabres tied it up at 7:17. Briere, who got loose from Paul Ranger and was camped just off the right side, put it home on the rebound. Pominville took the initial shot, which was deflected on the way to net.
Drury then put Buffalo up 2-1 a little more than three minutes later. Denis, who was fooled by Nathan Paetsch's centering pass, made a save but couldn't hold the puck for the whistle. Drury then corralled the rebound and lifted the disc through the five hole and underneath the crossbar at the 10:34 mark.
Briere then notched his second goal of the period off Brad Richards' turnover in front of Lightning net. The score came off a shot from the right faceoff cirle and beat Denis down low.
Both teams followed with a scoreless second period. Tampa had three power play opportunities to Buffalo's two, but neither team could light the lamp.
Briere finished the hat trick with 7:39 remaining in the contest, sending a shot top shelf on the glove-side after collecting a pass from Hecht that found its way through the crease.
"We played okay at times," said Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella. "You have to score goals. We didn't score goals and I think we gave them a couple where they didn't have to work to hard as far as earning them. They need to earn everything. If you're going to stay in the game with Buffalo they need to earn everything and I think we gave them a couple."
Lecavalier has five points in his last four games (4G, 1A)...Buffalo handed the Lightning their worst loss of the season in the their first meeting, a 7-2 pounding at HSBC Arena on November 20...Andreychuk was honored by the Lightning in a pre-game ceremony. He played 23 seasons in the NHL and finished as one of the top-scoring left wingers in league history, and won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004...The official attendance was 20,025.
12/06 00:18:18 ET