The Tampa Bay Lightning closed out their three game road trip to start the season 2-1-0 with an overtime victory in Buffalo Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay had plenty of scoring chances in the opening period vs Buffalo but were unable to record a first period goal for the third straight game. The Lightning outshot the Sabres 10-3 in the fist period and finished the game outshooting Buffalo 34-23.
Buffalo opened up the scoring at the 11:09 mark of the second period with a power play goal from Cody Hodgson.
Tyler Johnson brought the Lightning back to even beating Jhonas Enroth over the shoulder just 2:26 after the goal by Hodgson. Buffalo regained the lead with 1:26 left in the second period with a power play goal from Jamie McBain.
The Sabres finished the game 2-for-4 with the man advantage after going 0-for-13 in their first three games of the season.
At the 5:21 mark of the third period, Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek was called for a controversial high-sticking penalty. “I don’t know. I just saw it from the penalty box. I didn’t even know I got him,” Vanek said. “I scored a goal 10 seconds later and all of a sudden it was a penalty. I thought(the official) was a little bit off today. It happens. Too bad.”
Teddy Purcell beat Enroth on the power play with Vanek on the penalty box to tie the game at 2-2. “We dug ourselves in a little hole but we showed a lot of resiliency and character and that’s good to see that early on,” Purcell said. Tampa Bay finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
Martin St. Louis is now tied with Bobby Orr for career points (915) after he assisted on Purcell’s power play goal.
Alex Killorn scored the game winning goal 1:50 into the overtime period placing a backhander past Enroth after picking up the puck that Eric Brewer wasn’t able to get his stick on for the initial shot.
“I know Coop always likes me to shoot the puck, not hold onto it too much,” Killorn said. “You just had to kind of make a read and I realized I would’ve had a better opportunity if I held it for a second, so it worked out.”
Ben Bishop got the start for the second time in as many games, and stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced. At the other end, Jhonas Enroth got the start for Buffalo with Ryan Miller still dealing with that groin issue. Enroth finished the game with 31 saves.
The Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0) will have their home opener on Thursday night that kicks off a seven game homestand when in-state rival Florida Panthers (1-2-0) visit the Tampa Bay Times Forum.