BUFFALO, NEW YORK – Stephen Stamkos scored his second goal of the game with 2:44 left in overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 6-5 victory over the Buffalo Sabers on Monday night.
Briden Point there were also two goals, Brandon Hagel scored a goal and made an assist Corey Perry also scored for the Lightning, who recovered from two goals in the third period to force overtime. Nikita Kucherov as well as Mikhail Sergachev each had three assists, with Stamkos adding one on a three-point night.
Brian Elliott there were 32 saves to get the win.
“We had breaks at the end to get us back, some big names got us back in the game,” Tampa Bay coach John Cooper said.
“You give good players a little extra time and a little extra space, they’re going to play against you,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “We had some hesitation in our game and it was only the last 10 minutes.”
In the extra period, Stamkos got the winning shot from the right circle, which was his 12th number of the season.
“There will be games where we don’t deserve two points and tonight was probably one of those, but we were on the other side of that too,” Stamkos said.
With the score at 3-3 at the start of the third period, the Sabers appeared to have taken control of the third period with two goals and a 5-3 lead with just over 5.5 minutes left.
Cozens gave Buffalo a 9:37 lead with a right-hand under the bar and beat Elliot on the glove side. Skinner made it 5-3 with 5:41 left, finishing at a tight angle after an odd onslaught was initially stopped.
However, the Lightning responded with two goals, 3.5 minutes apart.
Stamkos scored just 16 seconds after Skinner’s goal and scored against the Lightning in one second. Hagel equalized with a powerplay goal with 2:02 left. As Elliot was pulled to create a 6-on-4 lead, Kucherov’s shot from the right circle was deflected past Luukkonen by Hagel.
Point opened the scoring at 7:54 with a power play from close range, his ninth goal.
Perry made it 2-0 with 3:12 left on the first pass through the ice from Stamkos.
Thompson put Buffalo on the board with 2:06 left in the first leg, beating Elliott with a graceful stick handling after forcing a submission in front of the Tampa goal.
Quinn equalized at 59 seconds, completing a good serve from JJ Peterka in a fast offensive run.
Yost gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead midway through the second period, scoring his first goal for the Sabers since being acquired from Minnesota on November 19.
Point equalized 3-3 on the power play with 3:34 left in the second after Kucherov’s pass.
INJURIES ARE BACK
In each team, after a recent injury, one player returned. Sabers Center Rasmus Asplund returned after missing two games with an upper body injury. Tampa Bay forward Cole Koepke returned after missing three games with an upper body injury.
Lightning: In Boston on Tuesday evening.
Sabres: In Detroit Wednesday night.