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Sabres visit Lightning in search of second straight win

by Mike Battaglino

SABRES (2-9-1) at LIGHTNING (6-3-0)


Last 10: Buffalo 2-7-1

Season series: This is the second of four games for the new Atlantic Division members. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime Oct. 8.

Big story: The Lightning have three losses: two to the Boston Bruins, one to the Pittsburgh Penguins, teams with a combined record of 14-5-0. In the Sabres' nine regulation losses, they have lost four by at least three goals.

Team Scope:

Sabres: Buffalo has been outscored 15-1 in first periods. They were outscored 1-0 in the first against the Florida Panthers on Friday, but scored three in a row after that to get their first win in regulation.

"Our offensive blue-line work was better," coach Ron Rolston said. "This last little bit we haven't been good out there, we haven't gotten shots through, and tonight we were able to get some shots through when we needed it."

A goal by Rasmus Ristolainen, his first in the NHL, was one of three points by a defenseman.

"We really needed that win," Ristolainen said. "Hopefully now we can keep going and take another [one] tomorrow."

Jhonas Enroth made 42 saves; Ryan Miller will start this game.

Lightning: Defenseman Victor Hedman was plus-2 against the Blackhawks on Thursday after he was minus-5 in a 5-0 loss to the Bruins on Saturday.

"You want to bounce back, and you want to bounce back big after a tough game like that," Hedman told on Friday. "I had a few days between games, so I had to wrap my head around it and work hard in practice. I didn't lose confidence in myself for that one game, but it's a nice feeling to bounce back, get a win and create some plays."

Hedman had a goal and an assist, one of four defensemen who had at least a point against Chicago. Prior to that game, the Lightning had one goal from their blueliners.

"There was a real emphasis on getting shots to the net, creating chances and playing as a group of five in the offensive zone," defenseman Matt Carle, who also scored Thursday, told the team website. "I think a lot of us took that to heart and were able to chip in offensively."

Tampa Bay plays at the Florida Panthers on Sunday, the first of 12 back-to-back sets this season.

Who's hot: Sabres forward Marcus Foligno has four points in his past three games. Forwards Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek have one point in four of five. … Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has seven goals and 12 points in his past six games.

Injury report: Sabres forward Cody McCormick (foot) returned to play Friday. Defenseman Mike Weber (upper body) was injured and is out. Forward Ville Leino (rib) is on injured reserve. ... Hedman (foot) did not practice Friday but will play. Forward Tom Pyatt (shoulder) is out.

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