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 blows chances in 2-1 loss to Sabres

TAMPA

The Lightning is searching for answers to a mystery players admit they are not quite sure how to solve.

How does the team get more out of a power play that has all kinds of firepower at its disposal but so little success?

The question became urgent during Tuesday night's 2-1 loss to the lowly Sabres, in which Tampa Bay went 0-for-6 with the man advantage, including a stretch of 3:15 in the second period, 46 seconds of which was five-on-three.

In its past 11 games the Lightning is 4-for-41 on the power play. No wonder the sellout crowd of 19,204 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum started to boo.

"We're trying to figure it out," center Steven Stamkos said. "It's a tough period. The only way we're going to get out of it is not get down on ourselves."

It was easy to be down after one of the season's most disappointing results that included losing defenseman Sami Salo in the second period to an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Tampa Bay, facing a difficult four-game road trip to the Rangers, Boston, Pittsburgh and Newark, N.J., needed a win against a Sabres team that had lost four straight, scored two goals in its previous three games and entered last in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, the Lightning (9-9-1) lost its third in four games when Tyler Myers beat goaltender Mathieu Garon 52 seconds into the third period to break a 1-1 tie.

Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller was solid with 30 saves as the Lightning had a 31-21 shot advantage. His only blip: Stamkos' league-best 14th goal 1:24 into the game.

But Tampa Bay was to blame, too. As coach Guy Boucher said, "Every time (Tuesday) we had that opportunity to hurt them, it didn't happen."

Ben Pouliot, instead of making it 2-0 8:23 into the first period, hit a post. Stamkos, instead of giving Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead at 5:36 of the second, also hit a post.

But the greatest frustration was with the power play, which was on the ice for 11:15 and generated nine shots.

"We have to get better," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "When we get six opportunities, we have to bury at least one."

To be fair, the power play did many things right. Players were in motion. Shots got through. There was traffic in front of Miller.

But Stamkos admitted there were times he and teammates overpassed "trying to make pretty plays."

And it just couldn't convert.

"We wanted this game badly," Boucher said. "We just didn't bury, plain and simple."

As Hedman said of the power play, "Four-for-41, that's not going to win you anything."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8622. View his blog at lightning.tampabay.com.

Sabres 1 0 1 2
at Lightning 1 0 0 1

First—1, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 14 (Purcell, Conacher), 1:24. 2, Buffalo, Hodgson 8 (Sekera, Vanek), 10:02. Penalties—Lee, TB (delay of game), 2:57; Gerbe, Buf (holding stick), 10:38; Regehr, Buf (interference), 13:56.

Second—None. Penalties—Myers, Buf (high-sticking), 5:15; Stafford, Buf (high-sticking), 7:38; Myers, Buf (hooking), 8:53.

Third—3, Buffalo, Myers 3 (Vanek, Hodgson), :52. Penalties—Ehrhoff, Buf (tripping), 4:54. Shots on Goal—Buffalo 5-10-6—21. Tampa Bay 5-14-12—31. Power-play opportunities—Buffalo 0 of 1; Tampa Bay 0 of 6. Goalies—Buffalo, Miller 7-10-1 (31 shots-30 saves). Tampa Bay, Garon 2-5-0 (21-19). A—19,204 (19,204).

Lightning blows chances in 2-1 loss to Sabres 02/26/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs start strong vs. Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — On his worst pass of Thursday's preseason game against the Jaguars, Jameis Winston threw a ball from the seat of his pants toward the end zone and it appeared to be intercepted by safety Barry Church.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown of the first half on a 2-yard run, squeaking past Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter.
  2. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  3. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  4. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  5. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The signs of frustration were readily apparent as the Rays trudged toward home Thursday after another game littered with squandered opportunities evolved into another wasted day in the wild-card race with a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter reacts as Justin Smoak circles the bases after hitting a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth.