NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Tampa Bay
(Saturday, October 27th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Thomas Vanek scored with just 40.5 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
In the extra session, Vanek skated through the neutral zone along the right wing with Nathan Paetsch on his left. From the right circle Vanek threw a shot on goal with Paetsch and the puck found its way past Johan Holmqvist for the win.
Paetsch and Vanek each had a goal and an assist while Ryan Miller made 31 saves for the Sabres, who have won two straight.
Also, Buffalo has won eight of its last nine games against Tampa Bay.
"We really came on in the second period," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "I thought we poured on as much as we could. I thought our guys gave it everything they had and were rewarded for how hard they worked."
Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and an assist while Vinny Prospal and Michel Ouellet each lit the lamp for the Lightning, who have dropped two of their last three games. Holmqvist finished the game with 22 saves.
Tampa Bay was 5-0 at home coming into the game.
"I thought we played a good hockey game," said Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. "We lost momentum at certain times and regained it. We fought to the end."
With the game tied in the third, the Lightning were awarded a power play when Toni Lydman was called for interference and the team took advantage.
On a good passing play, Brad Richards sent the puck from the high slot to the low right side where Martin St. Louis held it for a moment and dished it to Lecavalier, who fired a laser that hit off the left post and into the net for a 3-2 lead at the 6:14 mark.
The Sabres, though, tied the game with 6:47 to play in the third as Jason Pominville sent a pass from the low left side to the front where Paetsch one- timed it through a screen and into the net.
Tampa appeared to have a goal a few minutes later as Lecavalier one-timed a shot from the right circle that beat Miller. But it was ruled that St. Louis interfered with Miller and the goal was waived off. No penalty was called on St. Louis, though.
After a scoreless first period, the teams each lit the lamp twice in the middle stanza.
Tampa Bay struck first as St. Louis sent a pass from behind the net to Lecavalier, who immediately fired a pass from the outside right circle across the goalmouth to Prospal, who redirected the puck past Miller 3:25 in.
Just 1:20 later, the Lightning made it a 2-0 game as Ouellet whiffed on a shot, but got enough of it to float the puck over the left shoulder of a confused Miller.
Buffalo cut its deficit in half as a quick shot from Maxim Afinogenov found its way past the right pad of Holmqvist at the 9:30 mark.
On the power play, the Sabres tied the game as Tim Connolly fired a shot from the left point that Paul Gaustad artfully redirected between the pads of Holmqvist with 5:32 left in the stanza.
Tampa Bay hits the road for three games beginning against the Rangers on Monday...Buffalo wraps up its five-game road trip at Boston on Thursday...Buffalo went 1-for-3 on the power play while Tampa scored on one of its four chances...Lecavalier owns an eight-game point streak against Buffalo with seven goals and three assists in those contests.
10/28 00:06:34 ET