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game recap

Lightning score twice shorthanded, top Sabres for third straight win

Palat has goal, two assists; Dahlin leaves with concussion

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

Lightning net two quick SHGs

BUF@TBL: Paquette, Palat net SHGs 49 seconds apart

Cedric Paquette scores a shorthanded goal, and Ondrej Palat follows suit 49 seconds later on the same penalty kill for a 5-2 Lightning lead

  • 01:41 •

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning scored twice on the same penalty kill, and Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists in their third straight win, 5-2 against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on Monday.

Palat got his 200th NHL assist and 300th point, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves for Tampa Bay (12-7-2).

"We played a pretty responsible game; we didn't make turnovers, we know they played [Sunday]," Palat said. "We just wanted to put the puck deep and have a good forecheck. We did that in the second and third periods."


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Lightning highlights]


Rasmus Dahlin sustained a concussion in the second period for Buffalo (11-10-3), which won 5-2 at the Florida Panthers on Sunday but is 2-8-2 in its past 12 games. Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey scored, and Carter Hutton made 23 saves.

Dahlin left the game after being hit in the left face-off circle by Erik Cernak with 2:34 remaining in the second.

"Very disappointing," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said after announcing Dahlin's injury. "We'll let the League deal with the judgment of what happened. Right now, we're just worried about Rasmus and getting him healthy and hoping it's not a long-term injury."

Tampa Bay put the game out of reach in the third period with two shorthanded goals in 49 seconds. With Kevin Shattenkirk in the box for tripping, Cedric Paquette scored on a breakaway at 8:17 to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead.

"I just saw [Anthony Cirelli] after a face-off had time on the ice, their [defense] didn't pinch," Paquette said. "I had some open space in the middle, and [Cirelli] made a great pass. Lucky."

Palat one-timed Mathieu Joseph's pass on a 2-on-1 at 9:06 to make it 5-2.

"It's his skating," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Palat. "Whatever he did in the summer, he had to gain a step, and he has. He's got the grit, the physicality, all that, but he's picked up a step and it's worked well for him. This is as good as I've seen him play."

Nikita Kucherov gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead 13 seconds into the game with a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle for his eighth goal of the season.

Video: BUF@TBL: Kucherov stakes Lightning to early lead

Reinhart tied it 1-1 at 3:40 of the first period, and Vesey scored his first of the season on a breakaway 1:48 into the second to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead.

"I tried to get a good jump. I thought I was there," Vesey said. "I didn't think there was any way [Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev] was going to pass it. He passed it, so I was able to pounce on it and I thought it was a big goal at the time."

Sergachev tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 7:20 of the second period. Yanni Gourde gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead at 9:26.

"It's our job to get the shots past the first shot blocker down to the net," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "Our guys are working hard to get in front of the goalie's eyes and get to those pucks. We've got to continue to work at it. It's a big area as far as generating offense 5-on-5."

Video: BUF@TBL: Gourde tips puck home off the crossbar


They said it

"We just need to start having a little bit more desperation in our game. It just seems like we're accepting the fact that we're losing games right now, and it's not OK." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel

"I like the fact that, during this little three-game run, we've only given up two [goals] a game. … The goal scoring, we can score some pretty goals, but if you're fortunate enough to be playing in the spring, you need to be able to get those dirty ones. We're starting to get a few here, guys are going to the blue paint hard. That's what you need." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


Need to know

Eichel had an assist and is the first Sabres player to reach 30 points in 24 games since Thomas Vanek (2012-2013). … It was Vesey's first goal since March 29 with the New York Rangers. … Lightning center Steven Stamkos missed his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. … Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and forward Alex Killorn had their seven-game point streaks end. … Kucherov has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past seven games. … The Lightning are 7-0-1 in their past eight home games against the Sabres. ... Cirelli's four-game goal streak ended, but his assist extended his point streak to five (four goals, four assists).


What's next

Sabres: Host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SNW, NHL.TV)

Lightning: Host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Lightning down Sabres, 5-2, for third straight win

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