TAMPA — The Lightning and Sabres played an exciting, back-and-forth game on Thursday that ended in a Tampa Bay 5-4 win and the end of Buffalo's 10-game winning streak.
Here are some odds and ends to know from the game:
What an atmosphere; Dan Girardi called it "playoff-like." There were some dueling chants at Amalie Arena last night. Sabres fans were present and loud with a few "Let's Go Buff-a-lo" chants, which were answered by with "Let's go Bolts." Makes for a fun way to watch a game.
Nikita Kucherov extended his point streak to eight games, the team's longest of the season. He scored in the first period for his 22nd point of the month (tying a career high). Kucherov, Point and Johnson had a three-on-one. Point passed to Kucherov, who wristed a beaut from the slot, placing it top shelf.
"I think everybody in the building thought he was going to pass it, and so did the goalie," coach Jon Cooper said. "I think that's why he had the net he had to score."
For an exciting game, the Lightning struggled on the power play. Tampa Bay was 0-for-4 through the first two periods without many chances.
"The power play kind of sputtered a little bit in the first two periods," Cooper said, "but had a huge goal when we needed it."
He's right, the power play did come up big (Steven Stamkos tied the game up early in the third). But 1-for-5 isn't a good look, especially for the league's sixth-best power play.
For the first time in his stretch of nine-straight starts, Louis Domingue looked off. He didn't look bad, but he didn't look great. He allowed a few goals he might have liked back and was missing some of the big saves he's been making.
Domingue looked like a goalie who could use some rest. The Lightning, however, plays three games in four days starting Saturday at Florida, so rest isn't really in the cards.
Ondrej Palat looked good in his return. The 16 games off and foot injury didn't leave much rust. Palat played 14:22, right in the middle for Lightning forwards Thursday, and worked his way from the fourth line to the first by the end of the game.
"You look at players' timing and you look at stamina and he passed both with flying colors," Cooper said. "Good shot block for us. He's a hard guy to play against in those corners and we definitely needed him."
Contact Diana C. Nearhos at [email protected] Follow @dianacnearhos