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Bolts Play Buffalo In First Of Back-to-Backs

Friday, 03.28.2014 / 4:25 PM

Missy Zielinski - Lightning Beat Reporter

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Bolts Play Buffalo In First Of Back-to-Backs
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres

LIGHTNING (40-24-9, 89 points) vs. SABRES (20-45-8, 48 points)



Last 10: Tampa Bay 6-0-4; Buffalo 1-9-0

Season Series:

The Lightning has won two of three contests versus the Buffalo Sabres this season heading into Saturday night. In their most recent game however, Sabres netminder Jhonas Enroth spoiled Ryan Callahan's Lightning debut and Steven Stamkos' return to the lineup with a 3-1 victory at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on March 6.

Big Story:

After losing five out of their last six games that have been decided in a shootout, including being scoreless in the past 15 rounds, the Lightning defeated the New York Islanders in the 13th round of a shootout Thursday.

Team Scope:

LIGHTNING – Points are paramount down the stretch for the Bolts, who put an emphasis on winning the game without going to a shootout after a shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators Monday. A slow start kept the Lightning struggling to keep pace with the New York Islanders Thursday, who were reinvigorated by a number of fresh faces on their roster.

The Lightning eventually won, again in a shootout, but they were not particularly happy with the outcome.

"They're not all Picassos," head coach Jon Cooper said. "We have to be better."

Tampa Bay will surely keep Thursday's performance in mind, as they currently sit two points behind the Montreal Canadiens in third place in the Atlantic Division standings with two games in hand. Whoever finishes in second place will have home ice advantage in the first round of the postseason, while the third-place team will start the playoffs on the road.

SABRES – The last time Buffalo faced the Bolts, Enroth was defending his spot as the starting netminder after the Sabres dealt fellow goaltender Ryan Miller and acquired Michal Neuvirth at the trade deadline. Now the Sabres top two goalies remain sidelined with ailments. With Enroth and Neuvirth out, Matt Hackett and Nathan Lieuwen have been recalled.

The injuries in net are just two of a total of six injuries that have occurred on the Sabres roster since the trade deadline.

It has led Buffalo to a 1-9-0 skid over their last 10, including a 6-1 rout by the Nashville Predators Thursday. Interim head coach Ted Nolan expressed his disappointment with the Sabres' performance, especially since many of them will be fighting for NHL contracts come the 2014-15 campaign.

Who's Hot:

Forward Ryan Callahan netted two goals Thursday and now has four goals, four assists and is a plus-3 in 11 games with the Bolts. Valtteri Filppula extended his career-high 10-game point streak with a secondary assist Thursday. His streak is tied (Tyler Seguin) for the longest active streak in the NHL (as of Friday afternoon).


3/20 – Signed free agent forward Cody Kunyk to a one year, two-way contract

Injury Report:

Lightning – D Brian Lee (knee, out); Sabres – Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed), Chris Stewart (lower body), Alexander Sulzer (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Jhonas Enroth (lower body), Zenon Konopka (back)

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 29 '14TBL 4 at BUF 3 - OTS. Stamkos
Mar 06 '14BUF 3 at TBL 1M. Foligno
Oct 26 '13BUF 2 at TBL 3O. Palat
Oct 08 '13TBL 3 at BUF 2 - OTA. Killorn
M. St. Louis62293261+12695
V. Filppula69243256+51862
O. Palat74193251+262012
T. Johnson74222547+192253
V. Hedman67123547+34932
T. Purcell74123042+11434
A. Killorn74162339+95722
S. Stamkos29231336+111885
R. Callahan57161834+02463
M. Carle7422830+152410
R. Gudas6531821+313811
J. Brown5541418-4600
N. Kucherov449817+21233
S. Salo6531316+101600
N. Thompson739615+22501
R. Malone545914-66100
E. Brewer6911314+75700
R. Panik452911-101500
M. Barberio475510+122810
B. Crombeen533710+07901
M. Kostka23448+7801
T. Pyatt23347+0401
A. Sustr38077+41200
J. Cote19044+02200
B. Connolly11101-5401
K. Aulie14011-2900
D. Korobov3011+0200
P. Labrie13000-42000
D. Tyrell7000+0400
M. Taormina7000+0000
V. Namestnikov4000-1400
B. Bishop5836-11-712116472.17.927
A. Lindback205-12-2615013.26.878
C. Desjardins10-1-02136.67.846
T. Ennis72191938-174050
M. Moulson55172138-52682
C. Hodgson64172037-232070
C. Ehrhoff7262632-193412
D. Stafford66151631-153721
C. Stewart60151126+211633
C. Conacher7171926+44812
T. Myers6291322-265830
S. Ott5991120-265561
Z. Girgensons6261420-41001
M. Foligno6871017-178003
J. McBain6141115-111010
B. Flynn726713-7800
V. Leino5201212-14800
M. D'Agostini505611-112222
T. Vanek13459-5410
T. Mitchell63189-42500
H. Tallinder60257-223200
M. Pysyk42156-111401
M. Ellis42325-7400
C. McCormick29145-84500
M. Weber60055-296900
R. Ristolainen26213-9600
M. Grigorenko18213-3200
Z. Konopka58123-108300
J. Larsson23033-11700
P. Varone9112-3400
A. Sulzer25022-3800
L. Omark14022-6600
J. Scott50101-119400
L. Adam10101+0400
N. Zadorov7101-4400
K. Porter12011-5200
C. Tropp9011-8000
C. Ruhwedel17000-2200
B. McNabb12000+1600
N. Deslauriers12000-7900
P. Kaleta5000-1500
R. Miller4015-22-310814112.72.923
J. Enroth284-17-5748342.82.911
M. Neuvirth154-8-2415172.78.921
M. Hackett41-2-1111193.28.908
N. Lieuwen40-2-09913.00.901