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Lightning hope for strong finish to road trip

by Staff /

LIGHTNING (1-1-0) at SABRES (0-3-0)


Season series: The Buffalo Sabres won two of their three games against the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. Thomas Vanek of the Sabres and Steven Stamkos of the Lightning each had three points in three games.

Big story: Playing their fourth game in seven days, will the Sabres be able to generate any offense? They have two goals in three games, and already have lost two one-goal games.

Team Scope:

Lightning: This will be the third stop on a three-game road trip before a seven-game homestand for the Lightning. The first two legs saw them play the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. They've played well in both, with a 3-2 shootout win against the Blackhawks on Saturday after trailing 2-0 halfway through the third period. Ben Bishop had 39 saves in the win.

"We needed Ben Bishop to stand tall if we had any chance of coming back and he did," Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the team's website. "We got one goal and then we were opportunistic on our power play and we snuck out with a win."

Sabres: Despite excellent play from goalies Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth, it hasn't translated into wins for the Sabres. That was the case Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in which Enroth made 31 saves but got no offensive support.

"Limiting that team to as many chances as we did, I thought Jhonas played great, but overall, it's the same story," Cody Hodgson told the Sabres' website after the game. "We need to generate offense. One goal isn't enough."

Miller, who sat out Saturday with a lower-body injury, is questionable for the game Tuesday. He has stopped 77 of 80 shots in two games this season.

"Our goalies have stood on their heads all three games," defenseman Mike Weber said. "And it's unfortunate that we can't be better in front of them to limit some of their shots and some of their chances. It all comes down to us finding a way to get some offense going, generate some offense and bear down and score goals."

Who's hot: Stamkos had two assists in the Lightning's defeat of the Blackhawks on Saturday.

Injury report: Forward Ville Leino (fractured rib), and defenseman Henrik Tallinder (upper body) will be out for the Sabres, while Miller (lower body) is questionable. Marcus Foligno, Nikita Zadorov and Corey Tropp are on injured reserve. ... The Lightning will be without defenseman Brian Lee and Mattias Ohlund, both on IR while recovering from knee surgery.

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