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Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0, 2 Points) vs. Buffalo Sabres (0-3-0, 0 Points)
NBCSN, TSN2; AM 970 WFLA
The Tampa Bay Lightning open the season series against the Sabres Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at First Niagra Center in downtown Buffalo. The two new Atlantic Division rivals will then see each other again later this month, as the Bolts host Buffalo for the first time, before playing a pair of games in March. Last season the Sabres won the season series against Tampa Bay two games to one with two of the three games being decided by one goal.
The Big Story:
Closing out a three-game road trip versus Buffalo, the Lightning look for their second straight win on the road, after snapping an eight-game road losing streak on Saturday that dated back to last season. The Bolts have not won two consecutive road games since last March when they won two in a row against the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers (March 5 and March 12). Tampa Bay is facing a Sabres team that has been outscored 7-2 and is still in search of their first win of the season, posting a 0-3-0 record during the NHL’s first week.
LIGHTNING – Facing the last two teams standing in the 2012-13 Stanley Cup Final to start the 2013-14 campaign, Tampa Bay has proved they are up for the challenge. The Bruins handed the Lightning a loss in their season-opener, 3-1, but the Bolts still managed to outshoot the Bruins 33-25. Tampa Bay then addressed their power-play, which went 0-for-5 on Thursday, the following game as forward Teddy Purcell’s game-tying tally in the third was the first on the man advantage of the season. Netminders Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop have split the first two contests this year, with Bishop most recently making 37 of 39 saves on Saturday in a 3-2 shootout win.
SABRES – Returning home after facing the Penguins in Pittsburgh Saturday, the Sabres attempt to snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday night. The injury bug has hit the Sabres early this year, but forward Marcus Foligno, who has missed three games with an upper body injury that he sustained in the end of September, looks to make his season debut Tuesday for Buffalo, while Ryan Miller also hopes to make his return after missing Saturday night’s contest. Head coach Ron Rolston addressed his want for more pucks on net during Monday’s practice as well as improving upon their power-play that has gone 0-for-13 thus far.
Center Valtteri Filppula knotted the game-winning goal during the first round of the shootout last game. Winger Martin St. Louis and center Steven Stamkos also added their first points of the year, combining for one goal and three assists Saturday. Forwards Thomas Vanek and Zemgus Girgensons have scored Buffalo’s only two tallies this season.
LIGHTNING – Brian Lee (Knee, Out), Matt Taormina (Upper Body, Day-to-Day); SABRES – Marcus Foligno (upper body, Day-to-Day), Cody Hodgson (Lower Body, Day-to-Day), Ville Leino (Rib, Day-to-Day), Ryan Miller (Lower Body, Day-to-Day), Henrik Tallinder (Upper Body, Day-to-Day)
Twitter Stat Pack:
The #TBLightning have won two of their past three games in Western New York, despite owning an all-time record of 13-21-4 in Buffalo.
#TBLightning’s @tjohnny09 has won 18 of 28 draws through two games & is currently ranked 8th in the @NHL in faceoff percentage (64.3%).
Heading into Tuesday’s game, #TBLightning’s Martin St. Louis is one point shy (914) of tying Bobby Orr in all-time career points (915).
The #Bolts @RealStamkos91 led all #TBLightning skaters with two goals and one assists against the @BuffaloSabres in 2012-13.
The #TBLightning out-shot the @BuffaloSabres 89-57 in three games last season.
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