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game recap

Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Sabres

Makes 34 saves; Tampa Bay ends two-game skid

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves, and Mikhail Sergachev and Dan Girardi scored for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

The Lightning (17-5-2) had lost two in a row.


[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Sabres highlights]


"The way [Vasilevskiy's] been playing at the end of last year and the beginning of this season, it's been remarkable, and he's established himself as one of the best goalies in this league, I think," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "Having him back there is helping us a lot."

The Sabres (6-15-4) were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 17 and 18, 2014. They lost to the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Saturday.

Video: TBL@BUF: Vasilevskiy gobbles up O'Reilly's wrister

"If you're getting shut out two nights in a row, you're not going to win, you're leaving your goaltenders hanging out to dry; they're playing great," Buffalo forward Evander Kane said. "You [have] to give them some run support, you [have] to find a way to score goals."

Buffalo has lost nine of its past 10 games.

"I have to look at where we're at in the standings and where the other team is at," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "I feel we need to play with more desperation from the start of the game. … We have to [have] some attitude when we start the game. This is our home rink. We've got to get out and establish a forecheck, show more emotion on the ice."

Sergachev gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at 16:29 of the first period with a power-play goal. The defenseman received a pass from Tyler Johnson and his shot from the high slot deflected off the stick of Sabres forward Johan Larsson and into the net.

"That's one thing he can do; he can shoot a puck," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "At his young age (19), to have those offensive gifts that he has, he's got a high ceiling when it comes to that. Put a puck in his wheelhouse and he can shoot it and that's what he did tonight."

Video: TBL@BUF: Girardi pots long slap shot through traffic

Girardi made it 2-0 at 12:08 of the second period. He received a pass from Vladislav Namestnikov, and his shot deflected off Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella and into the net. It was Girardi's first goal for the Lightning; he signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent this offseason after he was bought out by the New York Rangers.

"I think when you're on a little bit of a slide, we're just trying to get back to the basics, keep it simple, get pucks to the net and get some of those dirty goals, and the second one was a big one," Johnson said. "They're not always going to be pretty, but we've got to get them any way we can."


Goal of the game

Sergachev's power-play goal at 16:29 of the first period.

Video: TBL@BUF: Sergachev nets scorching one-timer for PPG


Save of the game

Vasilevskiy's save against Jason Pominville at 15:41 of the third period.

Video: TBL@BUF: Vasilevskiy stops Pominville on sharp angle


Highlight of the game

Vasilevskiy's save against Evander Kane at 19:21 of the third period.

Video: TBL@BUF: Vasilevskiy denies Kane to preserve shutout


They said it

"I think we created a lot of offense, and through two periods we had more shots than the forwards had, so that was kind of the message going into the game, working on in practice and talking about in meetings, was getting more shots through and getting them towards the net ... that's kind of the message: You've got to go hard to the net and the puck's going to find a way in." -- Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman


"We have to be ready to play from the drop of the puck. It's just not good enough right now. We can't go through games not scoring goals; we can't win games that way. It's not just on the forwards, it's not just on the [defense] or the goalie. It's a collective effort. We have to have more pride in this dressing room and we have to find a way." -- Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella


Need to know

The Lightning used 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Forward J.T. Brown (undisclosed) missed his third straight game. … The Sabres outshot Tampa Bay 34-26; they are 5-6-3 this season when they've outshot their opponents..


What's next

Lightning: At the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, MSG-B, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)


Video: Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Sabres, 2-0

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