Buffalo at Tampa Bay

Stamkos returns, but Lightning stopped by Sabres' Enroth


TAMPA, Fla. -- Jhonas Enroth stole the spotlight from Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos.

Enroth made 43 saves to spoil the return of Stamkos and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Lightning 3-1 on Thursday night.

Stamkos had been sidelined since breaking his right shin Nov. 11 at Boston, causing him to miss 45 games. The center received a partial standing ovation during pregame introductions, when it was announced that he is the new team captain.

"For the most part I felt good," said Stamkos, who played 21:03. "It's a step in the right direction. You can feel it a little out there as the play progresses, but I felt like I played a lot tonight and felt pretty good. As the game went on, my timing felt great with the puck."

Right wing Ryan Callahan, acquired Wednesday from the New York Rangers for former Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis, made his Lightning debut.

"As the game went on, I got more and more comfortable with who I was playing with," Callahan said. "More comfortable on the ice."

Tyler Myers, Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson scored for the Sabres. Enroth stopped a combined nine shots by Stamkos (five) and Callahan (four).

"When we get good goaltending, we have a chance to win," Buffalo interim coach Ted Nolan said. "We were very opportunistic on our chances. Jhonas was the backbone, for sure."

Tyler Johnson ended Enroth's shutout bid with a short-handed goal at 17:31 of the third.

"I'm pretty [upset] that I didn't get the shutout, but that's hockey, I guess," Enroth said.

The Lightning have dropped four of five since the end of the Olympic break.

Myers put Buffalo up 1-0 when he beat Anders Lindback from the right circle 15:56 into the game. Lindback had been out since hurting his ankle on Jan. 30.

Foligno made it 2-0 with his first goal in 11 games at 9:25 of the second.

Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat hit the post during a power play with 8 minutes left in the second. Five minutes later, Teddy Purcell missed the net with a shot during a 2-on-1 off a pass from Stamkos, who then had his in-close shot go over the net in the final minute of the period.

"I thought he was probably the most dangerous player on the ice," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Stamkos.

It was just the eighth time this season that Buffalo has taken a lead into the third period.

The Sabres went up 3-0 on Hodgson's goal with 6:16 to go in the third.


Buffalo RW Chris Stewart and C Zemgus Girgensons left with injuries and Nolan said both are very doubtful for Friday's game at Florida. ... The Lightning went 22-18-5 while Stamkos was out. ... C Torrey Mitchell, obtained in a trade Wednesday with Minnesota, played his first game with the Sabres. Michal Neuvirth, acquired from Washington, was Buffalo's backup goalie. ... The Sabres announced that G Dominik Hasek will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on March 29. ... Lightning LW Ryan Malone, who has gone pointless in 12 consecutive games, was scratched.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Cody Hodgson puts the game away for Buffalo with a goal against Tampa Bay's Anders Lindback late in the third period.  (USATSI)
Cody Hodgson puts the game away for Buffalo with a goal against Tampa Bay's Anders Lindback late in the third period. (USATSI)
Buffalo  (19-35-8) «1113
Tampa Bay (34-24-5)0011
Three Stars
J. Enroth

Saves: 43
Save Pct.: .977
C. Hodgson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
T. Myers

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
15:56 - Tyler Myers (8), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
09:25 - Marcus Foligno (7), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hodgson, Myers
13:44 - Cody Hodgson (16), Wrist Shot. Assist: Foligno
17:31Short - Tyler Johnson (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hedman
Penalty Summary
51.0Kucherov, 2 min, High sticking
08:48Stewart, 2 min, Roughing
08:48Salo, 2 min, Roughing
08:48Stewart, 2 min, Roughing
10:16Flynn, 2 min, Delaying Game
16:21Killorn, 2 min, Interference
18:20Mitchell, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
Jhonas Enroth60:00431
Anders Lindback58:35183
Game Information
Attendance - 19204
Referees - Steve Kozari, Rob Martell
Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Pierre Racicot
Other Games
LA 3 Final
Wpg 1
Wash 0 Final
Bos 3
Colo 3 Final
Det 2
StL 2 Final
Nash 1
Colu 1 Final
Chi 6
Van 1 Final
Dal 6
Mon 2 Final
Pho 5
NYI 2 Final
Edm 3
Pitt 3 Final
SJ 5