NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Tampa Bay 0 1 0 1
Buffalo 1 1 0 2
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, November 13, 2018
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 15,833

Lightning cannot afford to overlook Sabres

Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres

  1. Tampa Bay lost to Ottawa, 6-4, on Saturday, snapping a season-long four-game win streak. The Lightning have scored four or more goals in five straight games, tied for the longest such streak in a single season in franchise history; they last did so from October 28 to November 8, 2014.
  2. The Sabres beat Vancouver, 4-3, in a shootout on Saturday, their first shootout of the season. The Sabres are 3-0-2 (.800) in one-goal games this season, third-best in the NHL; only the Lightning (4-0-1, .900) and Blue Jackets (5-0-2, .857) are better.
  3. Tampa Bay has a 13-2-2 record against Buffalo since the start of the 2014-15 season, but the teams have split the last four meetings. Tampa Bay has gone 41-16-6 (.698) against its division over the last three seasons, second-best in the NHL in that span; only Vegas, who did not play in 2016-17, has been better (.742).
  4. Mathieu Joseph scored two goals and added an assist against Ottawa for his first career multi-point game. The rookie had just three career points entering the game and has tallied five of his six career points in his last four skates.
  5. Victor Hedman and Braydon Coburn each lit the lamp on Saturday, the third goal of the season for each defenseman. The Lightning have gotten 42 points from their blueliners this season, fourth most in the NHL.
  6. Jeff Skinner lit the lamp for the fifth time in four games on Saturday and has 19 points through 17 games this season. He has 16 points over his last 10 games, the most by any Sabres skater in a ten-game span since Thomas Vanek tallied 17 in January/February 2013.

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday begin a four-game trip that ends against the Western Conference leaders, the Nashville Predators.

There is no suggestion, however, that the Eastern Conference leaders are looking past the opener against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, or the two games that follow against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Lightning talked respectfully Monday about the skill the Sabres have.

"You've got (Nashville) ahead of us, you've got Pittsburgh, which has a couple Cups, you have an upstart Buffalo team that's playing outstanding, so there is a lot of different type teams we are playing," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Monday.

The Lightning (12-4-1) lost 6-4 to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at Amalie Arena to end a four-game winning streak that followed a loss to Nashville.

The Sabres (9-6-2) have win two in a row, 6-5 in overtime over the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday and 4-3 in a shootout over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday at home.

"Anytime you're on road trips like this, you try to get wins early, especially that Buffalo game," Lightning right winger Ryan Callahan said. "Try to get points. Stack them up. As the road trip goes on, it definitely gets harder and harder to win some of those games."

After their game Tuesday, the Sabres will play their next three contests on the road against the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild and the Penguins.

The Sabres said they are eager to test themselves against the Lightning.

"Every team's really good in this league," Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton said. "I think any team on any given night can play really well and can test you. These are teams with winning records. We're at home here then we've got to go out to a few tough buildings and play.

"It'll be a good experience for guys and I think for us, we can't really get too overwhelmed with the bulk of the games. We've just got to keep what's in front of us. We've got a challenge tomorrow against Tampa and we get our rest tonight and we focus for that, then we move forward from there."

During the third period Saturday, Sabres coach Phil Housley moved Sam Reinhart to the line with Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner with Jason Pominville being switched to a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Evan Rodrigues. Based on practice Monday, those lines should stay intact Tuesday.

"I thought Reino was going well," Housley said. "Reino's played with Jack before, obviously. We're just trying to find balance throughout our lineup."

The way the Sabres won their past two games only adds to their building confidence. They have trailed after the second period each time and came back to win.

The win Saturday was particularly dramatic. Skinner scored with 2:27 left in the third period to cut Vancouver's lead to 3-2 and Reinhart tied the game with 1:47 remaining.

"It's a good feeling to have that belief," Reinhart said. "You're going to run through adversity throughout the year and you sort of need to keep that belief. Things aren't going to go your way, you're going to have bad nights. (Saturday) I think wasn't our best night, but we found a way to get the job done and get two points."

Lightning left winger Adam Erne, who missed the game Saturday with an upper-body injury, practiced Monday. Defenseman Anton Stralman, who also was out Saturday with an upper-body injury, did not skate Monday, however. Cooper said that he hopes Stralman, who is listed as day-to-day, will return during the trip.

The Lightning got defenseman Victor Hedman back from an upper-body injury Saturday and he scored a goal.

"He's a huge part of our team," Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn told the Tampa Times on Monday. "He's a huge part of our identity. He is a guy that just does so many things so well. He is the fastest guy out there. He is in every play. He is defending every puck. He is kind of an omnipresent person out there. And he's a leader in our dressing room, so to have him back is really good."

Updated November 13, 2018

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