Make us your home page

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 thrashed 7-3 by Buffalo Sabres

TAMPA — It should not have been a surprise the Lightning was smoked 7-3 by the Sabres Monday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Tampa Bay was without eight regulars because of injuries, its lineup included seven who played in the minors this season and the Sabres are a motivated bunch that smells the playoffs.

What was a surprise was the seeming lack of fight from a team that has a deserved reputation as one that doesn't quit.

"We didn't show up. We didn't battle," defenseman Bruno Gervais said. "We need to get better. We need to take some pride and bounce back for the next game."

"You've got to respect the game," wing Marty St. Louis said. "When it's game time, you come to play."

The Sabres did and the win added to their 15-5-5 streak that has them two points from the final playoff spot in the East.

The Lightning (32-33-7), losers of six of seven games, solidified its position at the bottom of the Southeast Division and remained two points from the bottom of the conference.

That can't be easy for players to wrap their heads around, especially after being a game from last season's Stanley Cup final.

Gervais, though, called that and talk of injuries "easy excuses."

The Lightning got contributions from Gervais and Ryan Malone, who had a goal and assist each; and Trevor Smith, who scored his first goal of the season.

But Tampa Bay, outshot 38-27, allowed the Sabres way too much time to make plays, and defensive breakdowns led to numerous goals.

Goaltender Dustin Tokarski was pulled from his second straight start 8:16 into the second period after allowing four goals on 15 shots but was hung out to dry by his teammates.

Particularly consequential were defensive zone turnovers by Brendan Mikkelson and Gervais which led to first-period goals by Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville for a 2-0 Buffalo lead.

"It felt like we gave it to them," Gervais said. "We didn't make them earn it."

It was just as bad during Buffalo's four-goal second period for a 6-2 lead as turnovers and defensive breakdowns were the fuel the Sabres needed.

"That's what you get," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "Guys are trying hard and the American League guys are doing everything they can and our top guys have been pushing for so long, it's tough to ask for a perfect game when guys are put in slots they've never been in."

But it's not too much to ask for a competitive effort.

"It's about respecting the people who pay for a ticket," Boucher said.

"We owe it to one another," St. Louis said, "to not give in and play hard."

Sabres 2 4 1 7
Lightning 0 2 1 3

First1, Buffalo, Stafford 15 (Ehrhoff), 11:31. 2, Buffalo, Pominville 26 (Hodgson, Vanek), 15:50 (pp). PenaltiesHedman, TB (holding), 15:10.

Second3, Buffalo, Foligno 4 (Ennis, Stafford), 1:09. 4, Tampa Bay, Gervais 5 (Purcell), 7:12. 5, Buffalo, Tropp 3 (Vanek, Hodgson), 8:16. 6, Tampa Bay, Smith 1 (Malone, Gervais), 14:14. 7, Buffalo, Foligno 5 (Stafford, Ennis), 16:22 (pp). 8, Buffalo, Boyes 6 (McCormick, Sulzer), 17:00. PenaltiesStamkos, TB (high-sticking), 10:12; Connolly, TB (tripping), 15:49; Regehr, Buf (hooking), 17:11.

Third9, Buffalo, Pominville 27, :17. 10, Tampa Bay, Malone 14 (Brewer), 14:57. PenaltiesSegal, TB (high-sticking), 4:22; Sekera, Buf (interference), 6:10. Shots on GoalBuffalo 9-18-11—38. Tampa Bay 6-9-12—27. Power-play opportunitiesBuffalo 2 of 4; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. GoaliesBuffalo, Miller 26-18-7 (27 shots-24 saves). Tampa Bay, Tokarski 1-3-1 (15-11), Roloson (8:16 second, 23-20). A17,212 (19,204). T2:28.

Sabres 7

Lightning 3

Tampa Bay Lightning thrashed 7-3 by Buffalo Sabres 03/19/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Don't expect to see protests in college football any time soon


    The whispers have segued to chatter. In time, it may evolve into rumblings, or even a groundswell.

    Following the national anthem, helicopters fly over Ohio Stadium in a missing-man formation in tribute to John Glenn before a game between Army and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
  2. Lightning to retire Vinny Lecavalier's No. 4 in February


    When Marty St. Louis became the first Lightning player to have his jersey retired back in January, it was hard not to think that former captain Vinny Lecavalier would be the next one.

    Vinny Lecavalier takes the ice before a 2010 game against the Florida Panthers.
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: Worst-Case (Keenum) scenario


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis in their latest podcast.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) scrambles away from Bucs defensive end William Gholston (92) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. J.T. Brown of Lightning respects NFL players' protests


    There was something in the air in the NFL on Sunday. President Trump’s comments and tweets on NFL player protests achieved the effect of creating more of them. Lightning winger J.T. Brown was asked about it as he stood in a hall at Amalie Arena, a few hours before the Lightning played the Florida Panthers in …

    J.T. Brown, one of about 30 African-American players in the National Hockey League, would not rule out that he might protest.
  5. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings review


    Greg Auman looks back on Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the latest edition of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]