Buffalo at Tampa Bay

Sabres shows Lightning who is best in Eastern Conference

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Buffalo Sabres have bounced back after their longest losing streak of the season.

Jason Pominville had two goals and Ryan Miller made 35 saves, leading the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Friday night.

"This is the time of the year when things really get exciting," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "The pressure builds inside the game and you see what guys are made off, whether they're going to handle it or not handle it."

The Sabres also got a goal from Derek Roy en route to winning consecutive games after a four-game skid. Buffalo extended its lead over New Jersey for the conference's best record to four points.

"Today certainly felt like a playoff game with the atmosphere and intensity," Sabres center Chris Drury said. "We're also fighting for position so it's not like we're just coasting in here. Every point is huge for us and we want to finish absolutely as high as we can.

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier scored twice, giving him an NHL-leading 48 goals. He set a team record with 96 points this season.

The Lightning played at home for the first time since going 3-3 on a road trip. Tampa Bay trails Southeast Division-leading Atlanta by four points.

"We came up short but not from a lack of effort," Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis said. "I like the way that we stayed in the game and the way we fought back. We were one shot away from tying it up and we had a few chances."

Lecavalier put the Lightning up 1-0 early in the first before Buffalo responded with three goals midway through the period.

Pominville tied it at 1 at 7:29 from a tough angle near the goal line. After Roy was credited with a goal following a video review at 8:05, Pominville made it 3-1 with 9:36 left.

Lecavalier pulled the Lightning to 3-2 with 15:22 remaining in the third.

Miller stopped Brad Richards' in-close shot with 1:35 to play.

"I just wanted to bring a good approach, good attitude and battle the entire evening," Miller said. "Even when one of their early shots goes in our guys battled hard and I kind of cued of that."


  • St. Louis held the previous team points record with 94, set during the 2003-04 season.
  • Buffalo C Daniel Briere had two assists, extending his points streak to four games. He has five assists and seven points during the stretch.
  • Lecavalier has seven goals and 12 points during a seven-game points streak.
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Jason Pominville (center) is happy about the first of his two goals. The 2nd turns out to be the winner. (AP)
Jason Pominville (center) is happy about the first of his two goals. The 2nd turns out to be the winner. (AP)
Buffalo  (46-19-6) «3003
Tampa Bay (39-29-4)1012
Three Stars
R. Miller

Saves: 35
Save Pct.: .946
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Pominville

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:11Vincent Lecavalier (47), Wrist Shot - Assists: Martin St. Louis, Vaclav Prospal
07:29Jason Pominville (30), Wrist Shot - Assists: Nathan Paetsch, Daniel Briere
08:05Derek Roy (14), Wrist Shot - Assists: Thomas Vanek, Drew Stafford
10:24Jason Pominville (31), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Jochen Hecht
04:38Vincent Lecavalier (48), Slap Shot - Assists: Vaclav Prospal, Dan Boyle
Penalty Summary
02:31Spacek: Hooking - 2 min.
14:18Karlsson: Holding - 2 min.
03:02Peters: Fighting - 5 min.
03:02Roy: Fighting - 5 min.
09:01Stafford: Holding - 2 min.
15:32Boyle: Hooking - 2 min.
17:33Roy: Hooking - 2 min.
02:17Pratt: Holding - 2 min.
09:14Drury: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
12:51Paetsch: Holding - 2 min.
Tampa Bay13111337
Ryan Miller59:55352
Marc Denis58:35173
Game Information
Attendance - 21264
Referees - Don Koharski, Mick McGeough
Linesmen - Pierre Champoux, Dan Schachte
Other Games
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Wash 5
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Pitt 6
NYR 1 Final
Atl 2
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Ana 5
Colu 0 Final
SJ 3