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game recap

Stafford's trick leads Sabres past Bolts

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Stafford's trick leads Sabres past Bolts
Buffalo Sabres 7, Tampa Bay Lightning 4
Drew Stafford was the focal point for the Buffalo Sabres during a wild third period on Tuesday night.

Stafford had three goals and the Sabres scored three times in a span of 1:42 during a five-goal third period to rally for a 7-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Buffalo took control after Jordon Leopold pulled the Sabres even at 3 on a disputed goal at 4:26 of the third. During the play, Stafford lost his balance skating near the crease and tripped Tampa Bay goalie Dwayne Roloson to the ice with his leg.

The officials ruled that Stafford was pushed into Roloson by Tampa Bay's Marc-Andre Bergeron.

"I didn't see the goal," Stafford said. "I think we got a lot of momentum after that, though ... the turning point of the game. It was a big one. We'll take it."
Lightning coach Guy Boucher agreed with the call.

"Nobody to blame but ourselves," Boucher said of his team's second loss in nine games. "We let it slip away. It's the opponent doing the right things, also."
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said it was a good goal from the get-go.

"What break did we get?" he said. "They were calling a penalty. If it doesn't go in, we're getting a power play."

Goals by Tim Connolly (10:14), Thomas Vanek (11:01) and Stafford (11:56) put Buffalo ahead 6-3. Stafford completed the hat trick with a power-play goal that made it 7-3 with 6:33 to go. He has five goals in the last two games.

Sean Bergenheim and Vincent Lecavalier each scored twice for Tampa Bay, which dropped to 4-2 during an NHL record-tying 12-game homestand. The Lightning are 22-2-1 when leading going into the third period.

Connolly's go-ahead goal came on a backhander after a Tampa Bay turnover. The Sabres are 11-4-1 in their last 16 games.

"Weird things started happening," Boucher said.

Buffalo, which started the season with 17 wins in the previous 20 games against the Lightning, beat Tampa Bay for the first time in three tries this season.

Bergenheim made it 3-1 on his second goal of the game at 11:24 of the second, coming on a rebound after Ryan Miller had stopped a shot by Ryan Malone. Vanek cut the deficit to 3-2 with 1:50 remaining in the period.

Lecavalier, off a pass through the slot by Victor Hedman, gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead 4:58 into the second. Lecavalier has scored in consecutive games following a stretch in which the Lightning captain had one goal in 16 games.

Bergenheim put the Lightning up 1-0 at 6:36 of the first. Stafford tied it with 3:17 left in the period.

Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos, the NHL leader with 40 goals and 73 points, assisted on Lecavalier's second goal of the game, which came late in the third.

"We kind of lost our composure," Stamkos said. "It's a tough game, especially with us being up 3-1 on home ice."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
scoring summary
1st Period
06:36
TBL
Sean Bergenheim (9) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (17), Brett Clark (14)
1 - 0 TBL
16:43
BUF
Drew Stafford (18) ASST: Jordan Leopold (19)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
04:58
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (10) ASST: Victor Hedman (19)
2 - 1 TBL
11:24
TBL
Sean Bergenheim (10) ASST: Ryan Malone (23)
3 - 1 TBL
18:10
BUF
Thomas Vanek (20) ASST: Mike Weber (5)
3 - 2 TBL
3rd Period
04:26
BUF
Jordan Leopold (11) ASST: Tyler Ennis (17)
3 - 3 Tie
10:14
BUF
Tim Connolly (8) ASST: Tyler Ennis (18)
4 - 3 BUF
11:01
BUF
Thomas Vanek (21) ASST: Cody McCormick (8)
5 - 3 BUF
11:56
BUF
Drew Stafford (19) ASST: Shaone Morrisonn (3), Mike Weber (6)
6 - 3 BUF
13:27
BUF
PPG - Drew Stafford (20) ASST: Jordan Leopold (20), Thomas Vanek (26)
7 - 3 BUF
16:19
TBL
PPG - Vincent Lecavalier (11) ASST: Martin St. Louis (45), Steven Stamkos (33)
7 - 4 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
01:46
TBL
Steven Stamkos  Tripping against  Tyler Ennis
14:54
TBL
Ryan Malone  Tripping against  Jason Pominville
15:05
BUF
Tyler Myers  Hooking against  Sean Bergenheim
2nd Period
00:45
TBL
Dominic Moore  Hooking against  Jochen Hecht
05:41
BUF
Nathan Gerbe  Roughing against  Steven Stamkos
12:01
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Elbowing against  Adam Hall
3rd Period
04:26
TBL
Steve Downie  Misconduct (10 min)
04:26
BUF
Tim Connolly  Roughing against  Steve Downie
04:26
TBL
Steve Downie  Roughing against  Tim Connolly
04:43
TBL
Victor Hedman  Slashing against  Jochen Hecht
04:43
BUF
Drew Stafford  Roughing against  Victor Hedman
04:43
TBL
Victor Hedman  Roughing against  Drew Stafford
05:56
BUF
Jordan Leopold  Tripping against  Adam Hall
12:32
TBL
Sean Bergenheim  Hi-sticking against  Jochen Hecht
14:23
TBL
Marc-Andre Bergeron  Slashing against  Cody McCormick
14:23
BUF
Cody McCormick  Roughing against  Marc-Andre Bergeron
15:17
BUF
Drew Stafford  Hooking against  Steven Stamkos
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 34TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 26 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .882SH: 1 - 1
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 21EV: 16 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .750SH: 0 - 0