for this game

Sabres handle Lightning

Mar 20, 2012 - 3:44 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Jason Pominville and Marcus Foligno each scored two goals, as the Buffalo Sabres handled the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-3, in a battle between playoff hopefuls.

Drew Stafford had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who remained two points back of Washington for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Corey Tropp and Brad Boyes also lit the lamp.

Ryan Miller made 24 saves for Buffalo, which snapped a two-game skid.

Ryan Malone and Bruno Gervais each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who were trying for their first regular-season series sweep over the Sabres in franchise history. Trevor Smith also scored.

Dustin Tokarski started the game for Tampa Bay and stopped 11-of-15 shots. Dwayne Roloson turned aside 20-of-23 shots in relief.

The Lightning, who fell to 1-4-0 on a seven-game homestand, have 71 points and sit nine points back of Washington. The Capitals beat the Red Wings on Monday.

"Come to work every day until [the season's] done. We owe it to one another to not give in and play hard," said Tampa Bay forward Martin St. Louis.

The Sabres drew first blood at the 11:31 mark of the first period. Christian Ehrhoff's shot from along the left boards deflected off Stafford and past Tokarski.

Pominville beat Tokarski on a shot from the bottom of the left circle to make it 2-0 with 4:10 to go.

Foligno gave Buffalo a three-goal cushion just 1:09 into the middle stanza. Tyler Ennis led a 2-on-1 rush down the left side before passing to Foligno, who found the back of the net.

Gervais finally put Tampa Bay on the board at the 7:12 mark when he slapped home a cross-ice pass from Teddy Purcell.

After Tropp put the Sabres ahead by three again, Smith jammed home a rebound for the Lightning at the 14:14 mark.

Foligno lit the lamp on the power play with 3:38 remaining to make it 5-2. Boyes scored 38 seconds later to make it a four-goal contest.

Pominville and Malone scored in the third to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay took three of four from Buffalo this season...The Sabres went 2- for-4 on the power play, while the Lightning went 0-for-2 on the man advantage...Tampa Bay forwards Nate Thompson and Adam Hall missed the game with upper-body injuries...Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers served the final part of a three-game suspension. The Sabres were also without forwards Matt Ellis (knee) and Nathan Gerbe (upper-body).