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At the Horn: Lightning 3 - Sabres 2

Reinhart scores twice, but Sabres drop their 1st game in Sweden

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sam Reinhart scored a pair of goals, but the Sabres were unable to erase an early deficit in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. 

The game was played at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series. The two teams will conclude the series at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday. 

Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, and Yanni Gourde scored goals for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves. 

Linus Ullmark made 31 saves for the Sabres. 

The Sabres played the majority of the contest with 11 forwards after losing Vladimir Sobotka to an injury in the first period. The injury was the result of a collision with Kucherov, who ducked low to upend Sobotka as the two collided in the Tampa Bay zone. 

Video: BUF Recap: Reinhart nets two in 3-2 loss to Lightning


What happened

Tampa Bay built a 2-0 lead in the first period. Kucherov buried a 2-on-1 feed from Brayden Point to put the Lightning on the board just 3:19 into the contest, then Killorn deflected a shot from the point by Victor Hedman on a power play with 3:46 remaining in the period.  

Reinhart's first goal cut the deficit in half with 4:17 remaining in the second. Battling Luke Schenn in front of the net, Reinhart tipped a shot from Rasmus Ristolainen in behind Vasilevskiy. Initially waved off for high contact, the call was overturned upon video review. 

Gourde buried the rebound off a Patrick Maroon wrap-around to restore the Lightning's two-goal lead at 7:45 of the third, but Reinhart responded with his second of the night less than four minutes later. 

The Sabres continued to push after killing off a penalty to Jack Eichel for tripping, but Vasilevskiy shut the door from that point on. The netminder improved to 9-1-1 in his career against Buffalo. 


What it means

The Sabres are now 9-5-2 this season but fall to 0-3-1 in their last four games. They'll have a chance to get even with the Lightning as their week in Sweden wraps up on Saturday. 

Speaking to NBCSN during the second intermission, Reinhart emphasized the importance of establishing the forecheck to produce offense. It will remain a point of emphasis entering the rematch, with shots in Friday's tilt 34-22 in favor of Tampa Bay. 


Roll the Highlight Film 

Reinhart's two-goal outing moved him into a tie with Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner for the team lead with seven goals. He ranks second to Eichel with 13 points in 16 games.

Video: TBL@BUF: Reinhart deflects home Ristolainen's shot

Video: TBL@BUF: Reinhart wires home wrister for second goal


Up next

The Sabres play the Lightning again at Ericsson Globe on Saturday. Coverage on MSG begins at 12:30 p.m. EST, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 1. 

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