Lightning Defeat Sabres, Inch Closer To Division Title

Lightning Score Three Unanswered In 3rd En Route To 7-5 Victory Over Buffalo

Tampa Bay Lightning, Buffalo Sabres
AP Photo: Chris O’Meara

Anthony Cirelli tied the game at 5-5 with his second goal of the night at the 6:15 mark of the third period. Less than a minute later, Brayden Point scored what would be the game winning goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres 7-5.

With the win, Tampa Bay improves to 54-23-4 and they lead the Boston Bruins by two points. The victory puts them in a position to win the division with a regulation or overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

The Lightning finish the season 2-1-1 against the Sabres and 7-5-1 on the front end of back-to-back series.

Cirelli scored his and the games first goal just 30-seconds in. Nikita Kucherov, Yanni Gourde, Dan Girardi, and Victor Hedman added goals for the Lightning.

Casey Mittelstadt, Alexander Nylander, Jason Pominville, Jordan Nolan, and Kyle Okposo scored for Buffalo who fell to 25-44-12 with the loss.

Lightning Notes:

  •  Anthony Cirelli scored a pair of goals giving him 11 points (5-6–11) in his 17 games with the Lightning. It’s his first multi-goal game of his career and fourth multi-point game.
  • Dan Girardi scored his sixth goal of the season matching the second most in a season (last 2009-10). His career high was 10 in the 2007-08 season. The goal also set the Lightning franchise mark for goals in a season by Lightning defenseman.
  • Brayden Point scored his 32nd goal of the season and 50th of his career. It was also his NHL leading 12th game winning goal. He is tied with Steven Stamkos (2011-12) for most game winning goals in a single season.
  • Alex Killorn had three assists. It is his sixth career game of three or more points and his third career game with three or more assists.
  • Yanni Gourde scored and added a pair of assist. It was his 25th goal of the season. With the goal, he passes Tyler Johnson for most goals in a rookie season in Lightning franchise history. Johnson set his mark in the 2013-14 season. With his second point of the night he passed Brad Richards for most points in a rookie season. Richards recorded 62-points in the 2000-01 season. Gorude currently has 64-points (25-39–64 points).
  • Nikita Kucherov scored his 39th goal of the season. He is one shy of his career high of 40 goals (2016-17). He added an assist on Dan Girardi’s goal to give him his first 100-point season of his career (39-61–100).
  • Kucherov’s goal was the 140th of the season at Amalie Arena setting a new franchise mark for goals at home in a season. The previous mark of 139 was set during the 2014-15 season.
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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.