“DON’T GET ME STARTED mumbled to myself, if the Sabres were going to make a run for a playoff berth, the target has to be the 8th place team.  Occupying that slot was Tampa Bay.  Going into the game, the Lightning had a 6 point advantage over Tampa.  That margin was reduced to 4 points as a result of Buffalo’s victory.

Yet, Tampa also has a game in hand on Buffalo.

Ron Rolston probably had a few anxious moments as he barely got into the game when Tampa scored the first goal of the game only about a minute and a half after it started.  It was scored by the perennial all-star Steven Stamkos.

Rolston finally got his first NHL win.  Thomas Vanek got an assist to stoop a 3-game-no-point streak and Buffalo stopped a 4-game losing streak.

Ryan Miller had 30 saves in the game while Buffalo managed 21 shots on the Tampa Bay net.

Whether or not this will mark a turn-around or not, the Sabres have to be pleased with the penalty killers.  One of the kills was after Tyler Myers took a penalty in the second period resulting in a 5-on-3 for the Lightning.  Ryan Miller, who played very well in the nets after giving up that early goal, was equal to the task.

Myers made up for his 2 second period penalties by coming up big with a powerful shot early in the third period giving Buffalo a 2-1 lead.  That goal became the game-winner.

That first quick goal by Tampa Bay came when Stamkos wristed a shot by Ryan Miller with Purcell and Corey Conacher getting assists.  It was his 14th of the season and the 6th straight game that Stamkos scored a goal.

The lead stood for almost 9 minutes when the puck went behind the Tampa Bay net to the right of goalie Mathieu Garon.  Battling for the puck were Sekara and Vanek when Cody Hodgson banked a shot off Garon into the cage to tie the game at 1, the time was 10.02.

After a scoreless second period, the Sabres took the lead 2-1 when Tyler Myers blasted a long shot that eluded Garon.  It was the defenseman’s 3rd of the season.  Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville gained assists.  The goal came 52 seconds into the final period.

Next up will be the Florida Panthers as the Sabres hope to continue moving up in the standings on Don’t Get Me Started.

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