Another Goose Egg in Tampa

Unable to find the back of the net for the 10th time this season, the Buffalo Sabres (19-40-5) have officially hit the 40 mark in the loss column with the 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning (39-20-6).

In what appeared to be a strong first period for the Sabres, they were able to hold the Lightning off the scoreboard until late in the period when Steven Stamkos scored his 36th goal of the season. Parked in the slot, he was able to take a feed from Alex Killorn and easily slide it past Sabres goaltender Anders Lindback for his fourth goal in three games.  

Although that is all the Lightning would need to win this contest, they did not stop there.

A poorly disciplined second period for the Sabres would lead to two more Lightning goals on the power play. Less than 3 minutes into the period, the Sabres found themselves shorthanded in a 5 on 3 situation. With two defenseman (Rasmus Ristolainen/Andrej Meszaros) taking the penalties, Sabres coach Ted Nolan was forced to run a short bench on the defensive side for the penalty kill. It would prove costly as the Lightning would capitalize on their power play chances and score twice to make it 3-0 early in the second.

“I think we definitely had a chance to make a game out of it if we don’t take that 5-3 but stuff like that happens and you must move forward,” Sabres center Philip Varone said.

Centering the Sabres first line for the first time in his whole career, Philip Varone logged 19:01 minutes of ice time and created chances on the first power play unit. Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Centering the Sabres first line for the first time in his whole career, Philip Varone logged 19:01 minutes of ice time and created chances on the first power play unit.

Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Moving forward seems to be the theme of this Sabres team with just 19 regular season games left. Everything about the team, the games, and even the future players on this team, is geared toward the idea of moving forward and having an optimistic look on the future. With this game coming one day after the trade deadline, Ted Nolan credited the team for their hard work despite the shutout.

“These guys are frustrated with that happened the last couple day,” he said. “They lost close friends and they’re down. But they went out and worked for 60 minutes. We put some good chances together in the first but couldn’t get a goal. We know we’re going to have to win games 2-1 or 1-0 and that’s tough to do.”

With this game being the conclusion of the Florida trip, the team will now travel back North to take on the Ottawa Senators this Friday. With two days off to practice and recover, it will be interesting to see what happens with the team in terms of the lineup and the recent call-ups that they have made. Expect some news following this morning’s practice in downtown Buffalo.