Tampa Bay at Buffalo

Lightning rookie Stamkos hurts Sabres with first two goals of career

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After waiting eight full games, what's another 10 minutes for Steven Stamkos to get credit for his first NHL goal?

The 18-year-old rookie netted his first two NHL scores and added an assist, and Olaf Kolzig made 29 saves in Tampa Bay's 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

But what everybody already knew, the official scorers didn't until the first period break. Standing in front of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, Stamkos deftly deflected Vincent Lecavalier's slap shot from the top of the right circle. Problem was, Lecavalier was given the goal that staked Tampa Bay to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period.

During the intermission, the officials fixed the error.

"I knew it hit my stick right from the beginning, and Vinny knew that too, so it was just a matter of them correcting it," Stamkos said. "I had some butterflies when they announced Vinny as the goal scorer, but he told the ref that I tipped it in. It was obviously a great feeling when they corrected it."

Lecavalier even had enough foresight to make sure the No. 1 overall pick in June's draft got the correct puck to commemorate the occasion.

"I went over right away and told them," Lecavalier said. "It's a relief getting your first goal. He played an unbelievable game tonight."

So did the Lightning, who have won three of their past four after starting the season with five losses.

"We really played our best game," Stamkos said. "We've been doing things the last few games that we weren't doing in the beginning of the season."

Like scoring goals.

Tampa Bay came in with just 14, the fewest in the league. But the Lightning have now scored eight times during their modest two-game winning streak.

"We're skating, we're first on the puck, and we're aggressive," Lecavalier said. "We scored five, and I thought we could have scored more."

Jussi Jokinen, Ryan Malone and Paul Ranger also scored for the Lightning, who snapped a five-game losing streak against Buffalo.

Clarke MacArthur and Thomas Vanek scored for the slumping Sabres, who have dropped three straight, including one in a shootout. Buffalo began the season with eight consecutive games without a regulation loss.

Miller lost for the first time this season in regulation, allowing all five goals on 40 shots. He also lost for only the second time in 13 career games against the Lightning.

"We're not making plays that are connecting," he said. "It's not the kind of hockey we want to play."

Jokinen made it 2-0 just 39 seconds before MacArthur closed the gap with his fifth of the season at 11:12 of the first. Malone then increased Tampa Bay's lead to 3-1 26 seconds later.

Ranger made it 4-1 with less than seven minutes to go in the second before Stamkos scored his second of the game just under two minutes later. After accepting a pass from Adam Hall, Stamkos sent a slap shot from the top of the right circle that eluded Miller.

"Everybody loves the kid and they know what he had been going through," Lightning coach Barry Melrose said about the rookie. "They really rallied around the guy."

Vanek's ninth of the season made it 5-2 with just 20 seconds left in the second period, deflecting a slap shot from the middle of the blueline by Andrej Sekera.

"There wasn't a lot to like about that game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We're not firing on all cylinders offensively."

Notes

  • Lecavalier had a pair of assists to extend his points streak to 12 games against the Sabres.
  • Tampa Bay is in the midst of playing seven of eight on the road.
  • Sabres D Henrik Tallinder returned after missing one game because of a laceration above his ankle, while C Paul Gaustad played in his first game of the season after having thumb surgery.
  • Kolzig, making just his third start of the season, improved to 3-4 in his past eight games against Buffalo.
  • The Sabres have allowed 10 goals in their past two games, both regulation losses.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 overall pick, follows through on a hard shot for one of his two goals. (AP)
Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 overall pick, follows through on a hard shot for one of his two goals. (AP)

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay  (3-3-3) «3205
Buffalo (6-2-2)1102
Three Stars
S. Stamkos
TB


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
V. Lecavalier
TB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
P. Ranger
TB


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:51Power Play - Steven Stamkos (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Lecavalier, St. Louis
10:30Jussi Jokinen (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Artyukhin, Recchi
11:12Clarke Macarthur (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Paille, Spacek
19:34Ryan Malone (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stamkos
2ND PERIOD
13:10Paul Ranger (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gratton, Lecavalier
15:00Steven Stamkos (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Hall
19:40Power Play - Thomas Vanek (9), Tip-In. Assist: Sekera, Spacek
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:26Kotalik, 2 min, Tripping
12:47Weber, 2 min, Holding
15:56Prospal, 2 min, Holding the Stick
2ND PERIOD
05:14Pettinger, 2 min, Hooking
10:53Lecavalier, 2 min, Tripping
18:52Carle, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
12:24Numminen, 2 min, Hooking
12:24Stamkos, 2 min, Holding the Stick
16:53Mair, 2 min, Boarding
18:08Stamkos, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
Shots On Goal
 123T
Tampa Bay15141140
Buffalo814931
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Olaf Kolzig59:59292
Ryan Miller60:00355
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Tampa Bay1-for-3
Buffalo1-for-5
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Stephane Auger, Tom Kowal
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Tim Nowak
 
Other Games
NYI 2 Final
OT
Phi 3
Pitt 1 Final
Pho 4
Bos 2 Final
Cal 3
Edm 1 Final
Nash 3
Det 2 Final
SJ 4
Car 1 Final
StL 0
Mon 2 Final
Min 1
Van 4 Final
LA 0
Ott 2 Final
Fla 1
Atl 2 Final
NYR 3
Colu 4 Final
Colo 2