After losing their last four games, the Buffalo Sabres finally got back in the win column with a 2-1 victory of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The win gives Ron Rolston the first win of his NHL coaching career in his third game after replacing Lindy Ruff.
The game didn’t start off on the right note for the Sabres, as the NHL’s leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos put the Lightning up 1-0 early with his 14th goal of the season only 1:24 into the game off the rebound of a Teddy Purcell shot from the top of the slot.
The Sabres, however, got the equalizer eight and a half minutes later on Cody Hodgson’s eight goal of the season. After the puck went around behind the Tampa Bay net, Cody Hodgson threw a backhand to the front of the net, which banked off of the skate of Lightning defenseman Sami Salo into the net and evened the score at one.
After a scoreless second period with the score remaining 1-1, the Sabres took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Tyler Myers 52 seconds into the third period. Thomas Vanek fed a pass from behind the Lightning net to Tyler Myers, who ripped a slap shot from the point that beat Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon, who was out of position.
The Sabres then played a solid remainder of the third period en route to a 2-1 victory, their first since defeating the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Friday, Feb. 15.
Ryan Miller was solid in net for the Sabres, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced. The Sabres also killed of all six of Tampa Bay’s power plays in the game.
With the win, the Sabres move to 7-12-1 on the season, yet still remain in last place in the Eastern Conference. However, they are still only four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, with 28 games left to play.
The Sabres next game is on Thursday, Feb. 28 on the road against the Florida Panthers.