November 26, 2019 / 2:58 AM / 16 days ago

Late Lightning tallies help in dumping Sabres

Tampa Bay’s Cedric Paquette and Ondrej Palat netted short-handed goals 49 seconds apart on the same penalty kill in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

Nov 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (28) passes the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The two goals broke open a 3-2 game midway through the third period and helped Tampa Bay to its third straight win and sixth in its last eight games.

Palat, who added two assists, recorded his 200th assist and 300th point on Nikita Kucherov’s goal that opened the game’s scoring.

Mikhail Sergachev and Yanni Gourde contributed tallies, and Ryan McDonagh pitched in with had two assists.

Gourde’s goal was his third game-winner against the Sabres this season, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 of 30 shots.

The Lightning played without captain Steven Stamkos, who missed his second game with a lower-body injury.

Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey scored and Carter Hutton made 24 saves for Buffalo, which is 2-8-2 in its last 12 games.

Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin left the game in the second period after taking an elbow up high from Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak and did not return.

The Sabres, who had four power plays, have scored only once in their last 31 man-advantage chances over their last 11 games.

In the teams’ first meeting since playing twice in Sweden early this month, Kucherov scored shortly after the puck dropped — just 13 seconds in — on the Lightning’s annual “Hockey Fights Cancer Night.”

The right winger notched his eighth tally over Hutton’s glove with Palat earning the lone assist.

The Sabres’ top line knotted it 1-1 just more than three minutes later when Jack Eichel moved around a defender in the neutral zone and put a wrister on Vasilevskiy from the right side. The rebound kicked out left to Reinhart, who netted his ninth goal at 3:40. The goal was his fourth against Tampa Bay after scoring three times in Stockholm in the NHL Global Series matches.

Vesey scored his first goal with Buffalo by stealing a cross-ice pass from Sergachev, breaking away and slipping the puck between Vasilevskiy’s pads at 1:48 of the second period.

Sergachev redeemed himself with a long shot from the point for a power-play goal at 7:20, and Gourde added his sixth goal for a 3-2 lead just more than two minutes later.

Paquette made it 4-2 with a short-handed goal on a breakaway at 8:17 of the third, and Palat added another shorty to finish a two-on-one with Mathieu Joseph at 9:06 with Kevin Shattenkirk off for tripping.

—Field Level Media

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