Sabres Look for 2 Big Points versus Lightning

@ 7:30 PM

Last Game:

Tampa Bay: Feb 9 at NY Rangers Loss(OT) 4-3

Buffalo: Feb 10 vs. Stars Win(SO) 3-2


Tampa Bay: 23-24-6

Buffalo: 24-24-6


Tampa Bay: 52

Buffalo: 54

Rank In Conference:

Tampa Bay: 13th

Buffalo: 11th

Power Play Ranking:

Tampa Bay: 13.9(26th)

Buffalo: 17.2(T-17th)

Penalty Kill Ranking:

Tampa Bay: 80.6(24th)

Buffalo: 81.6(T-17th)

Goals For:

Tampa Bay: 149(11th)

Buffalo: 130(25th)

Goals Against:

Tampa Bay: 177(30th)

Buffalo: 153(20th)

Shots For:

Tampa Bay: 1494(24th)

Buffalo: 1570(20th)

Shots Against:

Tampa Bay: 1592(11th)

Buffalo: 1693(24th)

Blocked Shots:

Tampa Bay: 825(11th)

Buffalo: 680(T-24th)


Tampa Bay: 1118(22nd)

Buffalo: 968(29th)

Faceoff Percentage:

Tampa Bay: 49.3(20th)

Buffalo: 49.4(19th)

Team Leaders:


Tampa Bay: Stamkos(36), Lecavalier(21), St. Louis(16), Purcell(13)

Buffalo: Vanek(20), Pominville(19), Roy(11), Adam(10)


Tampa Bay: St. Louis(34), Stamkos and Lecavalier(24), M. Bergeron(20), Purcell and Malone(17)

Buffalo: Pominville(32), Vanek(22), Stafford and Ehrhoff(17), Roy(16), Gerbe(14)


Tampa Bay: Stamkos(60), St. Louis(50), Lecavalier(45), Purcell(30)

Buffalo: Pominville(51), Vanek(42), Roy(27), Stafford(26)


Tampa Bay: M. Bergeron and Purcell(+6), T. Smith, Stamkos, and Kubina(+4), Gilroy and Wyman(+3), Lecavalier and Mikkelson(+2)

Buffalo: Gragnani(+10), Gerbe(+4), Gaustad(+3), Hecht(+1)

Penalty Minutes:

Tampa Bay: Downie(121), Kubina(55), Moore(48), Stamkos and Lecavalier(44)

Buffalo: Kaleta(86), Gaustad(65), McCormick(49), Vanek(40)


Tampa Bay: Stamkos(187), Lecavalier(161), St. Louis(115), Downie(89)

Buffalo: Pominville(150), Stafford(141), Vanek(138), Roy(116)

Blocked Shots:

Tampa Bay: B. Clark(126), Brewer(110), Kubina(90), Hedman(76)

Buffalo: Regehr(75), Leopold(68), Sekera(65), Ehrhoff(56)


Tampa Bay: Brewer(119), Kubina(87), B. Clark(83), Malone(81)

Buffalo: Regehr(116), Gaustad and Kaleta(87), Weber(67), Stafford(66)

Face-Off Wins:

Tampa Bay: Lecavalier(459), Stamkos(325), Moore(295), N. Thompson(169)

Buffalo: Roy(428), Gaustad(403), Pominville(147), Hecht(136)

Today’s Starting Goaltender Matchup:

Tampa Bay: Mathieu Garon 16-13-4 2.91 GAA .900 SV% 1 SO

Buffalo:  Ryan Miller 16-15-3 2.76 GAA .909 SV% 3 SO


Last Meeting: Oct 25 Lightning Won 4-3

Season Series: Lightning Lead 2-0-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 46-21-5

All-Time vs. T.B.: Sabres Lead 22-12-2

Rangers top Lightning 4-3 in OT

Brad Richards is sick and tired of answering questions about his recent struggles. Perhaps his heroics on Thursday night will put an end to the inquiries, at least for the time being.

The Rangers’ $60 million man scored with 2:23 left in overtime to complete a 4-3 comeback victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. It was Richards’ second goal and fourth point in the past 13 games.

“It felt good,” said Richards of his 17th goal of the season. “Maybe now you guys can stop talking about it.”

Richards signed a nine-year deal with the Rangers this offseason and made an impact right away with 11 goals and 14 assists in his first 27 games. But he has cooled considerably, posting just five goals and four assists in 24 games before Thursday.

Coach John Tortorella said some of Richards’ slumping can be attributed to getting comfortable in his system.

“I think he’s playing better defensively,” Tortorella said. “It’s a bit of an adjustment to him, how much concentration we do have defensively here. He’ll get through it. Don’t give up on that guy.”

The Lightning entered the third period with a 3-2 lead on the strength of goals from Steven Stamkos, his League-leading 36th, Vincent Lecavalier and Bruno Gervais. But the Rangers’ Brian Boyle tied it with 9:47 left in regulation, helping the team improve to 4-9-1 when trailing after two periods.

It may not seem like an impressive mark, but only three teams have a better winning percentage in the same situation this season.

Sabres rally to beat Stars 3-2 in shootout

Don’t look now, but the Buffalo Sabres are stalking the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Following a blowout win over Boston on Wednesday, the Sabres proved they could win the close ones as well by erasing a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat Dallas 3-2 in a shootout for their third straight victory.

With the win, Buffalo (24-24-6) leapfrogged Montreal and Tampa Bay for sole possession of 11th place, eight points shy of the final playoff slot. Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller stopped 24 shots.

“We played well, played sound,” said Nathan Gerbe, who converted the shootout winner. “We didn’t have our legs right away, but Millsy came up big and kept us in the game. It shows we can play, it shows what kind of team we are and we’re ready to make a big run and make the playoffs.”

Dallas (28-23-3) moved within a point of eighth-place Phoenix in the West but failed in its bid to win a regular-season game in Buffalo for the first time since Oct. 7, 1997. Dallas dropped to 0-5-2 in its past trips to Buffalo.

When Tomas Vincour gave Dallas a 2-0 lead at 4:17 of the third period, some Sabre faithful headed for the First Niagara Center exits. Before they reached the door, Buffalo struck back on the power play.

Vanek, playing his first game since missing three with an upper-body injury, scored his team-leading 20th goal by deflecting Jason Pominville’s right-circle blast past Kari Lehtonen at 5:07.

“I said this morning that I think (Vanek) can be instant help with the power play,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “And it seems when he does come back he gets on the scoresheet.”

This Day In Sabres History:

February 11, 2006 Vanek’s 2 Goal Night Carries Sabres to 5-3 win over Panthers

On This Day 6 Years ago Thomas Vanek scored twice in the Sabres 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. Sabres went up 2-0 by the 5:02 mark of the 2nd Period on goals from J.P. Dumont and Jiri Novotny. The Panthers would come back scoring twice in a 5:17 span on goals from former Sabre Chris Gratton and Jon Sim. Vanek would give the Sabres the lead with 50 seconds left in the 2nd Period. Vanek would add his 2nd of the night 5:00 into the 3rd Period to put the Sabres up 4-2. Jason Pominville would put the game out of reach scoring a Power Play Goal with 3:34 left in the game Mike Van Ryn would round out the scoring for the Panthers. Ryan Miller got the win for the Sabres making 29 Saves on the Night.

Injury Report:

Tampa Bay: Ohlund Arthroscopic Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Malone Upper Body(IR/Out), Tyrell Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out)

Buffalo: Stuart Lower Body(IR/Out), Hecht Concussion(IR/Out) Brennan Concussion(IR/Out)

Next 5 Games:

Feb 14 vs. New Jersey Devils 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 16 at Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 17 vs. Montreal Canadiens 7:30 PM(MSG HD)

Feb 19 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 12:30 PM(NBC HD)

Feb 21 vs. New York Islanders 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

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