January 13, 2019 / 3:14 AM / 4 months ago

Stamkos lifts Lightning past Sabres

Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period to propel the Lightning to a 5-3 win over the host Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Stamkos zipped in his 24th goal at 14:44 after taking a drop-pass from Nikita Kucherov and send Tampa Bay to its second lead after trailing 3-2 in the period.

Ryan Callahan, who returned after a two-game absence, added a power-play goal with 1:19 left to put the game away.

Kucherov had a goal and two assists, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat also scored, and Victor Hedman had a pair of helpers for the Lightning, who are 12-2-0 against the Atlantic Division. Stamkos also added a helper.

Tampa Bay opened its three-game road trip by raising its record to 18-1-1 in its last 20 games.

Sam Reinhart, Tage Thompson and Marco Scandella had goals for the Sabres, who are 2-5-1 in their last eight and fell to 5-2-2 in the second games of back-to-backs.

Tampa Bay’s Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots while Linus Ullmark made 25 saves.

Point collected a rebound off Kucherov’s shot then buried his team-leading 29th goal 26 seconds into the clubs’ third meeting — his seventh point in just over two games.

Reinhart moved back to the top line after playing on the second line in Friday’s 4-3 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, and the right wing connected to tie it 1-1 at 5:47, giving him five goals in the last six games against Tampa Bay.

Thompson finished a pass from Zemgus Girgensons to complete a 2-on-1 rush with only 10 seconds left, and the Sabres went to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead.

The assist by Rasmus Dahlin on Reinhart’s score made Dahlin, last June’s No. 1 overall draft pick, the seventh defenseman to record 20 helpers before his 19th birthday.

Palat potted the second period’s only marker when he flipped in a backhander from the slot at 7:50 to notch his sixth goal. Palat has 17 points in 21 career games against the Sabres.

Scandella joined the rush on a quick transition through the neutral zone, took a slick pass from Jason Pominville and slid in his third goal at 5:54 of the third period, but Kucherov tied it with his 22nd tally 23 seconds later.

—Field Level Media

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