Though there shouldn't be much need for a team with a 17-3-1 record to push itself, the Sabres have their devices to maintain their winning ways. They went into the season intent on not giving away points, and one of the ways for them to do that was to make sure they don't start a losing streak.
"We've always said we don't want to lose two games in a row," said center Paul Gaustad, who had two goals and one assist in Monday night's 7-2 triumph over the Lightning at HSBC Arena. "That's a motto we stick to and something we take very seriously in this locker room. Anytime we're faced with two losses in a row, we step up."
The Sabres, coming off a flat effort against the Senators, still haven't dropped consecutive games. They emphatically fended off back-to-back losses in trouncing the Lightning 7-2 Monday.
The skidless Sabres have responded with at least four goals in each of their games following a defeat, but they haven't exactly won them with ease. After their first blemish, a shootout loss to the Thrashers, they needed to score three times in the last nine minutes to force overtime and edge the Bruins in a shootout Nov. 2. They had to bounce back from three straight second-period goals to beat the Rangers in sudden death Nov. 5.
"This team has a lot of pride and a lot of character in the room," left wing Ales Kotalik said. "That character doesn't allow us to lose two in a row. We hope we never will lose two or more in a row."
The Sabres broke through for all of their goals in the second period in a 7-2 trouncing of the Lightning on Monday night in HSBC Arena. Center Paul Gaustad and left wing Thomas Vanek each had two goals, and center Jiri Novotny, defenseman Jaroslav Spacek and center Chris Drury scored the others. Right wing Ales Kotalik had three assists.
The Sabres converted two of their five power plays and shut down all seven by the Lightning. Goaltender Ryan Miller made 24 saves to break a personal two-game losing streak and limit the opposition to less than four goals for the first time in five games.
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