Tampa Bay Lightning Sneak Past Buffalo Sabres


Jan 9, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) makes a save during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Stamkos scored the game-winner with 5:18 to play in the third as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 at Amalie Arena Friday night.

Stamkos collected a pass from Jonathan Drouin on a 2-on-1 before going glove side on Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth from below the right faceoff circle for his team leading 22nd goal of the season.

Tampa Bay had taken a 1-0 lead 3:51 into the first when Valtteri Filppula found a loose puck at the side of the net after Ryan Callahan sent the puck into the crease from behind the net.

The Sabres tied the game 50 seconds into the second period as Cody McCormick scored shorthanded after Lightning defenceman Anton Stralman overskated the puck inside the blue line.

The Lightning fired a franchise record for shots in a period with 27 in the second but they couldn’t solve Neuvirth until Stamkos’ late goal.

Ben Bishop made 20 saves while Neuvirth stopped 45 shots.

J.T. Brown and Mark Barberio were both scratched, as was Radko Gudas, who is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season after having knee surgery.

The Bolts have the weekend off but head out for a quick two-game road trip that starts Monday in Philadelphia.