What's buzzing:
2-1
3 -
Team 1 2 3 OT
TB 0 1 1 1
BUF 0 2 0 0
2
0-3-1

Lightning-Sabres Preview

AP - Sports

A lack of production has plagued the Buffalo Sabres during the worst three-game start in club history.

Eager to improve offensively, the Sabres try again for that elusive first victory Tuesday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

After Buffalo (0-3-0) tied for 22nd with an average of 2.46 goals per game last season, it's been outscored 7-2 through the first week of 2013-14. Veteran Thomas Vanek and 19-year-old Zemgus Girgensons have scored for the Sabres, who hoped the early sledding wouldn't be this rough even with three teenagers and five rookies in the lineup.

The Sabres haven't gone this long without a win to start a season since beginning 0-5-0 with two ties in 1999-2000.

"We're going to have to figure it out real quick because these losses are piling up," forward Cody Hodgson told the Sabres' official website.

Buffalo's two goals match the inaugural 1970-71 team for the fewest over the first three games. The Sabres opened with a 2-1 victory that season, but scored once while losing the next three.

Their 0-for-13 performance on the power play is the worst to open a season since the 1997-98 team went 0 for 16 through the first four.

Vanek scored in the third period of Saturday's 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh as the Sabres managed 21 shots, including 12 in the final 40 minutes.

"We didn't generate a lot,'' coach Ron Rolston said. "We just have to be a lot simpler than we are right now. We pass up opportunities when we do get them."

Ryan Miller has helped keep the Sabres competitive in the two games he's played, stopping 77 of 80 shots. Rolston hopes to have Miller in net after the former Vezina Trophy winner missed Saturday's loss with a lower-body injury.

Miller allowed three goals in splitting two starts last season at Tampa Bay (1-1-0), but has a 3.06 goals-against average while dropping his last two against the Lightning at home.

Buffalo outscored Tampa Bay 6-4 while winning two of three last season. Vanek has gone five straight without a goal against the Lightning, but has six assists during that span.

Tampa Bay went 0 for 5 on the power play and allowed two short-handed goals in a 3-1 loss at Boston on Thursday, but killed four of five penalties and converted its only chance with the man advantage in Saturday's 3-2 shootout win at Chicago.

The Lightning were outshot 12-0 in the first period and 39-16 for the game, but rallied from a 2-0 deficit with third-period goals from Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell. Valtteri Filppula added the shootout's lone score.

"I was looking for the police when we left the locker room because I thought we'd get arrested for stealing," coach Jon Cooper said. "We stole two points."

Steven Stamkos added two assists and Ben Bishop made 37 saves.

"A comeback win in this building says a lot about this team," said Bishop, who is expected to split time with Anders Lindback. "We know we have a lot to work on. We can play a lot better than that, but it's always good to get two points on the road."

Stamkos has five goals and five assists in his last 10 games versus Buffalo. St. Louis, however, has been held to one of each in his last five against the Sabres.

View Comments (11)
  • Monahan slips in a rebound on his backhand

    Monahan slips in a rebound on his backhand

    Flames forward Sean Monahan wins a faceoff and goes to the net as he slips a rebound past Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller to make it 3-2. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 10 minutes ago
  • Mrazek shuts down Lightning again, Red Wings win Game 5

    Mrazek shuts down Lightning again, Red Wings win Game 5

    Petr Mrazek's confidence is growing by the victory. One more win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Detroit Red Wings and their young goaltender will advance in the NHL playoffs. ''Calm, solid all the way through,'' veteran defenseman Niklas … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Islanders beat Capitals 3-1 to force Game 7

    Islanders beat Capitals 3-1 to force Game 7

    Islanders captain John Tavares was still attempting to gather his bearings after being leveled in the corner, when he heard the familiar - and welcome - roar go up inside the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for what could be the last time. … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • McMillan sweeps a rebound past Hiller

    McMillan sweeps a rebound past Hiller

    A juicy rebound lands on the stick of Canucks forward Brandon McMillan in the slot as he buries the puck behind Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 50 minutes ago
  • Neal opens the scoring early on his backhand

    Neal opens the scoring early on his backhand

    Nashville Predators forward James Neal opens the scoring early at the United Center as he zips a shot on his backhand past Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 1 hour 40 minutes ago