Lightning Fall to Sabres in ‘Sloppy’ Loss

by | Apr 17, 2024

Lightning Fall to Sabres in ‘Sloppy’ Loss

by | Apr 17, 2024

Buffalo forward Dylan Cozens scored two goals to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead at the 5:18 mark of the second period. Buffalo never trailed again in their 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Sabres’ season finale.

The Lightning fell to 0-3-1 in their last four games after the Bolts had steadily worked to gain points and up their seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs starting next week. Tampa Bay was outshot, 34-33, as Buffalo controlled the second period with a 16-7 shot advantage.

“Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy,” Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos concluded. “We lose another guy in ‘Glenny’ (Luke Glendening) tonight. It’s tough to see. Not much to look at that was good tonight so … we have one game left so just do the little things right. The stuff that we practice in practice. The nuances of the details … it wasn’t great.”

Glendening will miss Wednesday night’s matchup with Toronto with a lower-body injury.

Tampa Bay had a tough time gaining momentum and being able to use that to capitalize as Buffalo had quick answers that kept the Lightning from being able to mount solid comebacks.

“I think there were times tonight where we just wanted to get out of the game instead of finishing it through,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.

Steven Stamkos scored his 40th goal of the season and he now has 84 points. He summarized the Lightning issues that have plagued them since securing their playoff possession.

Nikita Kucherov assisted Stamkos’ goal which tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period. It was his 99th assist which has moved him up to 142 points as he has scored in nine of his last ten games.

Kucherov has a four-point lead on Colorado’s Nate McKinnon as the Avalanche finish on Thursday night against Edmonton.

He is one point shy of being only the fourth player in NHL history to post 100 assists in one season.

After Stamkos tied the game at 1-1, Cozens scored his second goal which on a shorthanded offering which allowed Buffalo to retake the lead for good with the 2-1 margin

At 16:03 in the second, Buffalo’s Jordan Greenway scored the third Sabres goal after he came in on his left side and rebounded a backhand shot from forward Zemgus Girgensons that hit Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s blocker.

Stamkos realizes the mental approach that a team needs going into the NHL Playoffs and being able to survive, game by game and series by series.

“You want to feel good and focused,” he said. “We have won games and we have lost games going into the playoffs. You want guys to feel good about themselves and the mood is usually good when you are winning.”

Stamkos wants the Lightning to pay attention to detail and situational depth to improve and hang around for a bit in the NHL Playoffs.

“Just do the details of the game that we ask for and we practice that we execute,” said Stamkos. “That’s what it boils down to – being in the right spots, making the right plays, and the right reads. The rest usually follows after that.”

The last rendition of the quick answer for the Sabres came after Erik Cernak blasted the puck on a score from the blue line that cut the lead to 3-2 at 9:39 in the third.

Some 15 seconds later, Buffalo winger Zach Benson scored his 11th goal of the season as the Sabres once again slammed the door on Tampa Bay.

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