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Buffalo
Sabres
41-32-9
Tampa Bay
Lightning
24-40-18

27 SOG
23 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
TBL
game recap

Sabres 4, Lightning 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 4, Lightning 3
Buffalo Sabres 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -The Buffalo Sabres were the better club in a matchup of struggling teams.

Derek Roy scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and Drew Stafford had a goal and two assists to lead the Sabres past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday night.

"We got a couple of redirections that haven't been going in," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "You need a little bit of puck luck along the way, and I thought we got some."

The Sabres took a 4-3 lead on Roy's goal from the right circle with 9:57 remaining.

Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht also scored for the Buffalo, which won for only the third time in 11 games. The Sabres have won seven in a row at Tampa Bay. Ryan Miller made 20 saves and improved to 12-1 against the Lightning.

"I try not to put too much into past records," Miller said. "Every season, teams seem to change and they definitely have a lot of different guys in the lineup. It was an important game for us. That was the only focus."

Martin St. Louis, Paul Ranger and Vinny Prospal had the Lightning goals. Tampa Bay has lost seven consecutive games and 14 of 16.

"I think in your life you always have down periods," Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet said. "I judge people the way they react after down periods, and that's what we're looking for now. We're looking for people to stand up here and get back on the frontlines. Nobody is going to help us but ourselves."

The Lightning have dropped 13 of 17 games this season decided by one goal.

"Groundhog Day," St. Louis said. "You feel sometimes you deserve better, but you know what, maybe we don't. The way it's going, it's draining. Draining physically. Draining mentally."

Stafford put the Sabres up 1-0 with a rebound goal at 10:02 of the first.

Vincent Lecavalier, who hit the post with a shot early in the period, set up St. Louis' goal that tied it at 1. He sent a pass through the slot to the low left circle with 6:55 left in the first.

Lecavalier had two assists and a second-period fight with Hecht. The Tampa Bay captain has eight assists and 12 points in his last 10 games.

After Vanek scored his 19th goal - tying him with Philadelphia's Jeff Carter for the NHL lead - at 9:46 of the second, Tampa Bay pulled even at 2 just 35 seconds later. Ranger netted his first goal in 17 games, giving him two this season against the Sabres.

The teams had another quick goal sequence later in the second when Hecht scored at 14:41, and Prospal tied it 3-3 only 39 seconds later.

Buffalo has killed off 24 consecutive power plays, including six on Saturday.

"It's great," Roy said. "We're moving our feet, active sticks. Obviously, your best penalty killer is your goaltender, and Ryan's made some great saves. On the other hand, we're just working really hard at it."

Notes: Lightning G Mike Smith stopped 23 shots. ... Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone sat out with an undisclosed upper body injury. ... Buffalo D Craig Rivet returned after missing two games with an upper body injury. ... The Sabres recalled C Nathan Gerbe from Portland and returned RW Mark Mancari to the AHL team.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:02
BUF
Drew Stafford (4) ASST: Paul Gaustad (3)
1 - 0 BUF
13:05
TBL
Martin St. Louis (7) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (12), Lukas Krajicek (4)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
09:46
BUF
Thomas Vanek (19) ASST: Derek Roy (13), Drew Stafford (6)
2 - 1 BUF
10:21
TBL
Paul Ranger (2) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (13), Vinny Prospal (11)
2 - 2 Tie
14:41
BUF
Jochen Hecht (3) ASST: Adam Mair (3), Toni Lydman (7)
3 - 2 BUF
15:20
TBL
Vinny Prospal (6) ASST: Marek Malik (3), Martin St. Louis (14)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
10:03
BUF
Derek Roy (7) ASST: Teppo Numminen (6), Drew Stafford (7)
4 - 3 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
03:35
BUF
Jason Pominville  Interference against  Ryan Craig
06:09
TBL
Lukas Krajicek  Tripping against  Nathan Gerbe
07:42
BUF
Nathan Gerbe  Hooking against  Paul Ranger
16:46
TBL
Radek Smolenak  Fighting (maj) against  Paul Gaustad
16:46
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Fighting (maj) against  Radek Smolenak
17:53
BUF
Adam Mair  Fighting (maj) against  Steve Downie
17:53
TBL
Steve Downie  Fighting (maj) against  Adam Mair
2nd Period
00:50
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Hooking against  Vinny Prospal
04:08
TBL
Matt Smaby  Tripping against  Maxim Afinogenov
12:33
TBL
Steve Eminger  Hooking against  Derek Roy
16:31
TBL
Paul Ranger  Hooking against  Derek Roy
17:34
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Boarding against  Mark Recchi
17:34
TBL
Steve Eminger  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
17:57
BUF
Derek Roy  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
19:22
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Fighting (maj) against  Jochen Hecht
19:22
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Fighting (maj) against  Vincent Lecavalier
3rd Period
01:36
TBL
Paul Szczechura  Hooking against  Andrej Sekera
07:24
BUF
Adam Mair  Holding against  Mark Recchi
11:30
TBL
Lukas Krajicek  Boarding against  Daniel Paille
14:17
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Hi-sticking against  Mark Recchi
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 23TOI: 59:58
Saves: 20EV: 8 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 12
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0
Mike Smith
SA: 27TOI: 58:57
Saves: 23EV: 17 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .852SH: 1 - 1