NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, February 20th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (31-18-7-3) at Buffalo Sabres (27-26-6-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to get back on track tonight
when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
The Lightning had a five-game unbeaten string snapped via Thursday's 4-3
overtime loss in St. Louis. Doug Weight scored on a rebound just 1:06 into the
extra frame to lift the Blues.
Tampa lost for just the second time in the last 13 games (10-2-1). The Bolts
received goals from Ruslan Fedotenko, Cory Stillman and Pavel Kubina, and 25
saves in net from Nikolai Khabibulin.
Kubina's goal with 7:19 remaining in the third period knotted the score at 3-3
just 1:13 seconds after Bryce Salvador's wrister in the slot had given the
Blues their first lead of the game.
Tampa Bay, with 73 points, still holds a comfortable lead atop the Southeast
Division -- 17 ahead of Atlanta.
The Lightning will visit Washington on Monday.
Buffalo, meanwhile, is 4-0-1 in its last five games. On Wednesday, the Sabres
skated to a 1-1 tie with visiting Florida. Roberto Luongo made 22 of his 41
saves in the second period to help the Panthers salvage a point.
Eric Boulton notched his first goal of the season for the Sabres, who failed
on seven power-play opportunities. Mika Noronen made 22 saves.
After turning away 10-of-11 shots in the first period, Luongo held off an
offensive outburst in the second by Buffalo. The Sabres also had four power
plays in the second, but failed to beat the netminder on 22 shots.
Noronen faced just three Florida shots in the period.
The Sabres, with 61 points, are five behind Montreal and the NY Islanders for
the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo will visit the Isles
Tampa Bay is 2-0 against Buffalo this season, and 6-3-3 in the last 12
02/20 10:20:54 ET