for this game

Breakout game from Stamkos leads Lightning past Sabres

Oct 31, 2008 - 4:05 AM BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Vincent Lecavalier is approaching the 300-goal mark. Eight games into his rookie season, 18-year-old phenom Steven Stamkos still was looking for his first.

So it was only appropriate that Tampa Bay's captain corrected a scoring error for the struggling youngster.

Stamkos scored his first two career goals - the first of which originally was credited to Lecavalier - and added an assist as the Lightning posted a 5-2 victory over the slumping Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Jussi Jokinen, defenseman Paul Ranger and Ryan Malone also tallied and Olaf Kolzig stopped 29 shots for Tampa Bay, which has won two straight and three of four.

Lecavalier was credited with Tampa Bay's first goal but later alerted officials of their mistake. Replays showed that Stamkos deflected the veteran's slap shot into the net from the left side.

"You could tell right away," said Lecavalier, who has 276 more goals than Stamkos - the first overall pick of last June's draft.

"I went to tell them. After you score your first NHL goal, it's easier to get your confidence back. He played an unbelievable game. We're happy he got that first one, and he'll have many, many more."

Thomas Vanek netted his league-leading ninth goal and Clarke MacArthur also scored for Buffalo (6-2-2), which has lost three straight after a torrid start.

Stamkos, who recorded his first career point with an assist in Tuesday's victory over Toronto, gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Lecavalier blasted a slap shot from the right faceoff circle that Stamkos deflected past goaltender Ryan Miller at 9:51.

The change on the goal was made at the end of the first.

"I knew it hit my stick from the beginning, and Vinny knew that, too," Stamkos said. "I had a little bit of butterflies when they announced Vinny was the goal-scorer, but he did a great thing and went over to the ref and told them I tipped it, that they should review it and correct it.

"(Lecavalier) got the puck. It was a tremendous thrill for me."

The entire team was happy for Stamkos, who failed to register a point in his first seven games.

"They all love the kid and they know what he had been going through," Tampa Bay coach Barry Melrose said. "With not scoring, they really rallied around the guy. He's got four points in two games (now), and he's done it against two pretty good hockey clubs."

"He's such an infectious kid, with his smile coming into the room every day," Kolzig said. "Regardless of what people were writing about him not having any points, he still came to the rink a happy kid. You knew it was about to happen. To a man, we're all ecstatic for the kid."

The Sabres also were impressed with Stamkos.

"He's a fast player and a skilled player," Buffalo's Jason Pominville said. "Every player who gets drafted that high, a lot of things are expected of him. He showed he's an elite player, and we'll have to keep an eye on him."

Stamkos' tally got the ball rolling for Tampa Bay, which had yet to score more than three goals in a game this season. Jokinen doubled the advantage just 39 seconds later.

MacArthur halved the deficit with 8:48 left in the opening period, but Malone restored the two-goal lead with 26 seconds remaining. Stamkos assisted on the tally.

Tampa Bay continued its onslaught on Miller as Ranger made it 4-1 with 6:50 left in the second, and Stamkos' slap shot beat the goaltender between the pads less than two minutes later for a four-goal bulge.

Stamkos' second goal was more clear-cut than his first.

"I just aimed for the corner and put it on net, and good things happened," Stamkos said.

Vanek scored with 20 seconds left in the middle period for the final margin.

Miller, who had been 11-1-0 lifetime with a 2.47 goals-against average against Tampa Bay, stopped 35 shots.

"Good and bad," Miller said of his performance. "I'd like to have the third one back. It was bad timing for the boys, going into the second period."

Buffalo has allowed 10 goals in its last two losses, much to the dismay of coach Lindy Ruff.

"There wasn't a lot to like about that game," Ruff said. "I thought the last game was tough, but this game was a lot poorer in a lot of areas."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 2 0 5
    BUFFALO 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) STEVEN STAMKOS 1 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 9:51
    TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 2 (EVGENY ARTYUKHIN, MARK RECCHI) 10:30
    BUF - CLARKE MACARTHUR 5 (DANIEL PAILLE, JASON POMINVILLE)
    11:12
    TAM - RYAN MALONE

    Oct 30 9:26 PM
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    Lightning 5, Sabres 2  End of 2ndOct 30 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 2 5
    BUFFALO 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) STEVEN STAMKOS 1 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 9:51
    TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 2 (EVGENY ARTYUKHIN, MARK RECCHI) 10:30
    BUF - CLARKE MACARTHUR 5 (DANIEL PAILLE, JASON POMINVILLE)
    11:12
    TAM -

    Oct 30 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 5
    BUFFALO 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 9 (ANDREJ SEKERA, JAROSLAV SPACEK)
    19:40

    Lightning 5, Sabres 2  2nd - 0:20Oct 30 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 5
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - STEVEN STAMKOS 2 (ADAM HALL) 15:00

    Lightning 5, Sabres 1  2nd - 5:00Oct 30 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 4
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: TAM - PAUL RANGER 1 (CHRIS GRATTON, VINCENT LECAVALIER) 13:10

    Lightning 4, Sabres 1  2nd - 6:50Oct 30 8:22 PM
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    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  2nd - 8:31Oct 30 8:19 PM
  • 0
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    RUWTbot Took away 38 roots

    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  2nd - 17:00Oct 30 8:02 PM
  • 38
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    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  2nd - 0:26Oct 30 8:02 PM
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    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  2nd - 17:26Oct 30 8:02 PM
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    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  2nd - 0:26Oct 30 8:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 3 3
    BUFFALO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 6 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, PAUL
    RANGER) 9:51
    TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 2 (EVGENY ARTYUKHIN, MARK RECCHI) 10:30
    BUF - CLARKE MACARTHUR 5 (JASON POMINVILLE) 11:12
    TAM - RYAN MALONE 2 (STE

    Oct 30 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - MAREK MALIK 1 (STEVEN STAMKOS) 19:34

    Lightning 3, Sabres 1  1st - 0:26Oct 30 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - CLARKE MACARTHUR 5 (JASON POMINVILLE) 11:12

    Lightning 2, Sabres 1  1st - 8:48Oct 30 7:27 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - JUSSI JOKINEN 2 (EVGENY ARTYUKHIN, MARK RECCHI) 10:30

    Lightning 2, Sabres 0  1st - 9:30Oct 30 7:26 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 6 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, PAUL
    RANGER) 9:51

    Lightning 1, Sabres 0  1st - 10:09Oct 30 7:24 PM