TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Lightning are now heading in the right direction.
Martin St. Louis scored a nifty goal, Mathieu Garon earned his 20th NHL shutout, and Tampa Bay beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night.
St. Louis made several stick-handling moves on Ryan Miller after getting the puck while alone in the low slot, and lifted a shot over the goalie to make it 2-0 with 11:30 left.
"Of all my goals in my career, I can't say there's too many that it's just me and the goalie with that much time," St. Louis said.
Even Miller was impressed by St. Louis' skill.
"I thought I let him go far enough so where he couldn't come back," Miller said. "He made a nice move."
Victor Hedman added an empty-net goal, which St. Louis assisted on.
Garon made 21 saves to post his first shutout in 34 games, dating to Nov. 20, 2010, against San Jose. He is 2-8 against Buffalo.
"Hard to say I didn't like him," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said.
Pavel Kubina also scored for the Lightning, who have won two in row following a five-game skid.
"We needed to put back to back wins," St. Louis said. ...MORE.
Head coach Guy Boucher made the point at the morning skate. The only way that the Lightning would be able to score on Ryan Miller was if the team could screen the Buffalo netminder. That is exactly what forwards Tom Pyatt and Teddy Purcell did in the second period. The Tampa Bay forwards were able to camp out in front of Miller drawing blueliners Jordan Leopold and Christian Ehrhoff in close to help obstruct Miller’s vision. At that point it was just a matter of Pavel Kubina getting a shot on net. Kubinas’ blast from the blue line went through the maze of players and hit the back of the net giving a Lightning a 1-0 lead. It turned out to be the only goal that Tampa would need.
Tampa Bay goaltender Mathieu Garon was tonight’s star as the 33-year picked up his 2nd win over the year and his 21st career shutout when he turned away all 21 Buffalo shots. Garon came to shine particularly in the third period when a pressing Sabres offense tried to keep the game close.
- Brad Boyes played his 500th game tonight and his 499th consecutive game. Boyes’ consecutive game streak is the third longest in the NHL.
- Forward Tyler Ennis played only one shift on Saturday. Ennis left the game in the first period after crashing into the Tampa Bay net. He did return and was listed out with a lower body injury.
- Tampa Bay scored the first goal of the game at 4:51 of the second period. The goal was the first goal that Ryan Miller has given up in the past 122.
- Thomas Vanek had his six-game point streak snapped. Vanek had been averaging a goal-per-game and still leads the team with ten points (6+4).
- Tampa Bay netminder Mathieu Garon recorded his 21st career shutout, turning away all 21 Buffalo shots.
Buffalo wrapped up a four-game road trip and returns home for a five game home stand over the course of two weeks. The home stand kicks off with a return match-up with the Lightning before the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers visit the First Niagara Center. Following that, the Sabres take on the Philadelphia Flyers and wrap it up with the Calgary Flames.