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)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Buffalo Sabres 7-1

Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki and Sabres wing Thomas Vanek watch Buffalo’s second goal — Derek Roy’s first of three — head into the net in the first period on a 5-minute power play.

Associated Press

Lightning goalie Antero Niittymaki and Sabres wing Thomas Vanek watch Buffalo’s second goal — Derek Roy’s first of three — head into the net in the first period on a 5-minute power play.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Lightning did not compete in Saturday night's 7-1 loss to the Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Simple as that.

The team is depleted by injuries, and captain Vinny Lecavalier took what coach Rick Tocchet called an "undisciplined, stupid" spearing penalty that got him tossed from the game and cost Tampa Bay two goals.

But wing Marty St. Louis said that did not excuse a general lack of urgency. "I don't think we came ready to play," he said. "From the get-go you could tell we were trying to feel our way through instead of initiating, dictating. You do that against a team like that and night-night."

You could say the same of Tampa Bay's playoff chances, which had gained some life with two straight wins. And the Lightning (30-33-12) still is mathematically in it. But eight points out of the final spot with seven games left and four teams to jump is a roadblock you need a Hummer to get over.

Or at least more players than showed up against Buffalo. Losing Lecavalier 6:35 into the first period when he speared Tim Kennedy and got a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct made it worse.

Not only did the Sabres, who clinched a playoff spot, score twice during the power play to go up 3-0, Tampa Bay was down to 10 forwards. Tocchet had decided to go with 11, instead of the usual 12, and a seventh defenseman to bolster a banged-up blue line.

"It's tough," Lecavalier said. "I put the boys in a bad spot, that's for sure."

Lecavalier admitted he took a "bad penalty," retaliating for an elbow in the back of the head. He also said he simply jabbed Kennedy in the stomach, though Kennedy sold it as if he had been stabbed. Lecavalier said he believed he deserved only a two-minute penalty. "(The referee) saw it as a five, and that kind of changed the game," he said. "I don't think it was the right call."

But NHL rules 62.3 and 62.5 say a major penalty and a game misconduct are mandatory with spearing.

Whatever the details, it was the beginning of the end for the Lightning, which celebrated Steve Downie's 21st goal, the only good moment in a rotten game.

"It's on me," Tocchet said. "I'm obviously not doing a good-enough job if they're not competing. … We're in critical games. You have to take a punch in the mouth. You have to block shots. You've got to backcheck like it's your last shift of the season. You have to go to the net like it's your last shift of the season. Our defense has to box people out like it's the last shift of the season.

"It's embarrassing some guys packed it in."

Sabres 3 3 1 7
Lightning 0 1 0 1
Sabres 3 3 1 7
Lightning 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Buffalo, Gaustad 10 (Rivet, Grier), 2:24. 2, Buffalo, Roy 20 (Ennis, Pominville), 8:02 (pp). 3, Buffalo, Hecht 20 (Myers, Butler), 8:52 (pp). PenaltiesLecavalier, TB, major-misconduct (spearing), 6:35; Lydman, Buf (interference), 18:19.

Second Period4, Buffalo, Pominville 23 (Tallinder, Roy), 6:57. 5, Buffalo, Roy 21 (Kennedy, Vanek), 9:45. 6, Buffalo, Mair 5 (Ennis, Ellis), 11:16. 7, Tampa Bay, Downie 21 (Lundin), 19:17. PenaltiesGaustad, Buf (cross-checking), 19:59.

Third Period8, Buffalo, Roy 22 (Pominville), 6:10 (pp). PenaltiesMeszaros, TB (cross-checking), 5:16. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 5-9-9—23. Buffalo 8-10-8—26. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; Buffalo 3 of 4. GoaliesTampa Bay, Niittymaki 20-17-5 (6 shots-3 saves), Smith (8:53 first, 20-16). Buffalo, Lalime 4-6-2 (23-22). A18,690 (18,690).

Sabres 7

Lightning 1

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Buffalo Sabres 7-1 03/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 27, 2010 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021

    Bucs

    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback

    Blogs

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 5:32: 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) is not doing much in the way of baseball activity yet so that means he won't be ready when eligible to come off the DL on Friday. ... SS Matt Duffy (left heel) said he is still slowed by the big left toe he bruised taking BP on Saturday and does not have a date to …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  4. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron

    College

    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.