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The Bolts End the Sabres Win Streak at 10
By Philip Wunderlich
Two of the best teams not only in the Atlantic Division but in the league were set to face off against each other, as the Buffalo Sabres came to town tonight. Luckily for the Lightning and us fans, Ondrej Palat would come back from injury in this game. This game was bound to have a playoff atmosphere as several fans from both teams were in attendance and the teams themselves were going to put on a show. And what a show it was if I may add!
The Sabres came to town on a 10 game win streak and the Lightning knew that they were going to have play hard if they wanted to end this streak and get the win inside Amalie tonight. From the very beginning of the game the game was very chippy. Luckily the Bolts were the team to strike first as Dan “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” Girardi was right in front of the net and would get a sweet goal as the puck would slide right behind a stick-less Carter Hutton. Later in the period Tage Thompson would collide with Girardi and G would have to be helped off the ice. The Bolts limited the Sabres scoring chances as the Sabres would only have one shot on goal through half of the period, however the Sabres would get an answering goal on their second shot of the night as Zemgus Girgensons would get a tip in front of the net after a rocket of a shot by Rasmus Ristolainen. The Sabres would go up on top as they would quickly get their second goal of the night as Sam Reinhart would shoot a shot off that would hit Louis Domingue in the shoulder and unfortunately bounced in. Alex Killorn was not going to stand for that however as just a little over a minute after the Reinhart goal he would get a goal and this would be his second point of the night as he recorded an assist on the Girardi goal. Matthieu Joseph would get the first penalty of the night as he would hook Nathan Beaulieu. Luckily for the Bolts Jack Eichel would shortly after nullify the penalty as he would collide into the boards with Ryan McDonagh and Ryan unfortunately would have to go to the locker room. This penalty should have in my opinion been a game misconduct but then again I’m not a paid official so…anyways…Kucherov luckily would get a sick goal as well before the period ended and this would put the Lightning on top going into the second. However, before the second period the Bolts and Sabres would get into a dawny-brooke that would start as Zach Bogosian and Cedric Paquette would get into it and Beaulieu would get a game misconduct for being the third man in. Bogosian would also be called for a cross-check to Paquette, this is what started the scrum.
This period’s play would die down a lot as the animosity of the first would not continue into the second. The Lightning as mentioned would begin this period however on a power play as the penalty to Bogosian would carry over. Reinhart would tie the game at 3 as he would get his second of the night. This goal would be a little controversial considering it went off his skate and Domingue thought he might have kicked it in. Unfortunately though the goal would indeed count. The Bolts would then get a great opportunity to tie the game as Johan Larsson would get a double minor as he slapped the face of JT Miller with his stick and caused Miller to bleed. The Lightning however would not score on this power play and the score would remain tied at 3 going into the third period.
Mittlestadt would make a heck of a move as he would drive towards the net and then went behind the net and pass it to Tage Thompson as he would get the Buffalo’s fourth goal and second lead of the night. Callahan would drive towards the net and Larsson would get a penalty for a trip, as Cally was falling however he would get a shot away which almost went through but Hutton would cover. 7 seconds in the Bolts would finally score on the power play as Steven Stamkos would score largely due to a play by Victor Hedman as he would pump fake a shot towards the net but instead it was a pass directly towards Stammer and all the Captain would have to do is deliver a shot into a near empty net. This period would be chippy as well as Paquette and Kyle Okposo would get into a mini-scrum. Killorn would continue the physical play as he would get called for interference. The Lightning would have several chances to score this period and finally Paquette would strike as he would get the leading goal which was set up by a fantastic drop pass by Mikhael Sergachev. The Sabres would pull Hutton with 1:40 to go and despite the empty net, neither team was able to score and the Bolts would end up winning with a goal by Paquette 4-3.
Final Strike and What’s Next?