Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning allows six in third, loses 7-4 to Sabres

From left, Filip Kuba, Shane O’Brien and Karri Ramo look back as Thomas Vanek celebrates one of his three third-period goals. Vanek also had a hat trick against the Lightning on Feb. 20.

Associated Press

From left, Filip Kuba, Shane O’Brien and Karri Ramo look back as Thomas Vanek celebrates one of his three third-period goals. Vanek also had a hat trick against the Lightning on Feb. 20.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The old Lightning showed up Wednesday night, jittery in the third period, on its heels and unable to get key saves.

The result: Tampa Bay allowed six third-period goals in a brutal 7-4 loss at HSBC Arena to the playoff-hungry Sabres, who wiped out a three-goal deficit.

It was the 20th time this season, and 14th in regulation, the Lightning (29-36-8) lost after entering the third period tied or ahead. And it came after a second period in which Tampa Bay scored twice to build a 4-1 lead with an 8-2 shot advantage.

"That was pretty embarrassing. I'm embarrassed," defenseman Dan Boyle said.

"We knew they were going to come out hard, and we did not respond at all. They beat us to every puck and outworked us."

It was a stunning turnaround as the Lightning, which has been outscored 104-67 in the third this season, lost a three-game winning streak and goaltender Karri Ramo blew a gasket, allowing five goals on 15 shots.

"It seemed like every shot they took somehow kept going in," Ramo said.

Jason Pominville, who had two goals and a four-point night, and Jochen Hecht scored within 16 seconds to make the score 4-3 5:19 into the third period.

"After that, it seemed like we were on our heels instead of our toes," wing Mathieu Darche said. "Instead of taking it to them, we sat back.

"They have speed, and if you let them make plays, they'll make plays."

Thomas Vanek scored at 8:25 and got the winner with 6:46 left past a shell-shocked Ramo, who was looking right as the shot came left. Vanek finished a natural hat trick with his 31st with 3:53 left.

In the previous game between the teams, Feb. 20 in Buffalo, Vanek scored twice in the third to tie it and again in overtime to give the Sabres, who have a league-high 234 goals, a 4-3 win.

Wednesday, Hecht scored an empty-netter while short-handed with 5.5 seconds left for a less-than-merciful finish.

Worse, defenseman Paul Ranger left the game midway through the third period with a left shoulder injury after being checked into the boards by Daniel Paille.

It also left totally moot the good things that had happened.

Vinny Lecavalier had three points with two goals that gave him 39 for the season and seven in five games. Marty St. Louis scored his 23rd and Jeff Halpern his 16th — sixth in 11 games since coming from the Stars in the Brad Richards deal.

But Tampa Bay was overwhelmed in the third period and was outshot 16-4 and 32-19 for the game.

"I think we played two very good periods," coach John Tortorella said.

"Obviously, it was just a collapse."

Sabres 1 0 6 7
Lightning 2 2 0 4
Sabres 1 0 6 7
Lightning 2 2 0 4

First Period1, Tampa Bay, Halpern 16 (Ranger), 2:50. 2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 24 (Boyle, Lecavalier), 10:36 (pp). 3, Buffalo, Pominville 25 (Hecht, Tallinder), 13:07 (sh). PenaltiesBoyle, TB (hooking), 7:29; Picard, TB (roughing), 9:18; Bernier, Buf (roughing), 9:18; Afinogenov, Buf (roughing), 9:18.

Second Period4, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 38 (Jokinen, St. Louis), 5:06. 5, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 39 (Lessard, Ranger), 18:11. PenaltiesO'Brien, TB (tripping), :52; Halpern, TB (tripping), 18:40.

Third Period6, Buffalo, Pominville 26 (Gaustad), 5:03. 7, Buffalo, Hecht 20 (Gaustad, Pominville), 5:19. 8, Buffalo, Roy 30 (Stafford, Lydman), 8:25. 9, Buffalo, Vanek 29 (Roy, Stafford), 13:14. 10, Buffalo, Vanek 30 (Roy, Stafford), 16:07. 11, Buffalo, Hecht 21 (Pominville), 19:54 (sh-en). PenaltyStafford, Buf (tripping), 18:24. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 7-8-4—19. Buffalo 14-2-16—32. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 1 of 2; Buffalo 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Ramo 5-10-2 (31 shots-25 saves). Buffalo, Miller 33-24-9 (19-15). A18,690 (18,690).

Sabres 7

Lightning 4

>>FAST FACTS

Burned in the third

The Sabres beat the Lightning in all four games this season (twice in overtime) thanks primarily to their third periods. The period-by-period scoring:

1 2 3 OT Tot

Sabres 3 4 10 2 19

Lightning 3 5 4 0 12

Lightning allows six in third, loses 7-4 to Sabres 03/19/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2008 12:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.