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National Hockey League
Tampa Bay 2, Buffalo 1
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 21, 2019
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Referees: Jean Hebert, Chris Lee
Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Libor Suchanek
Attendance: 19092

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov scored in the shootout to lead the Lightning to their eighth straight win, defeating the visiting Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Thursday.

Stamkos started off the shootout session with a goal, then goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy thwarted Buffalo's Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt. Kucherov then deked his way to the game-deciding goal as the Lightning won their fifth straight at home and improved to 5-1 in shootouts.

Kucherov made history in the second period when he buried his 30th goal at 11:10 after a nifty pass from Tyler Johnson on a two-on-one to tie it 1-1. The goal was his 100th point, making him the first Lightning player with multiple 100-point seasons.

The Russian winger is the first NHL player to record 100 points (30 goals, NHL-best 70 assists) in 62 games or less since Mario Lemieux accomplished it in 61 games in the 1996-97 season.

Vasilevskiy made his fifth start in the Lightning's last six games and posted 29 saves, notching his sixth straight winning decision.

Rasmus Dahlin scored a goal for the Sabres, who lost their fourth straight and dropped three of the four meetings in the season series with Tampa Bay.

Buffalo's Carter Hutton was scheduled to serve as the backup to Linus Ullmark, who suffered a minor upper-body injury in morning skate. Hutton made 39 saves in Ullmark's place.

Tampa Bay top-pairing defenseman Victor Hedman was back into the lineup after being injured early and leaving the game in Columbus on Monday and missing Tuesday's game in Philadelphia.

At the end of a defensive-oriented first period, the Sabres broke through on a fortunate bounce after Dahlin's long shot. The rookie's wrister clipped Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh and caromed in for Dahlin's seventh tally of the season at 18:13.

Eichel's assist was his 15th point in his last 14 games, and Zach Bogosian added a helper.

Each team had a pair of power-play opportunities in the third period, but the penalty kill units and strong goaltending helped shut down many scoring chances.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Buffalo   Tampa Bay
Rasmus Dahlin 1 Points Nikita Kucherov 1
Rasmus Dahlin 1 Goals Nikita Kucherov 1
Zach Bogosian 1 Assists Tyler Johnson 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carter Hutton .975 Save Percentage Andrei Vasilevskiy .967
Carter Hutton 39 Saves Andrei Vasilevskiy 29
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Buffalo 30 1 0-4 3-3 10 23
Tampa Bay 40 2 0-3 4-4 12 34
Upcoming Games
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game at home against Los Angeles. The Lightning have a W/L % of .723 after a win and .867 after a loss.
  • Buffalo will play their next game at home against Washington. The Sabres have a W/L % of .448 after a win and .484 after a loss.