The Lightning started to back off of the aggressive forecheck in the early minutes of the second period and had a few turnovers before Steven Stamkos chipped one in after being set up by Matt Gilroy (who was originally credited with the goal). Stamkos’s goal, which gave the Lightning its first lead of the game, was sparked by Ryan Malone and Robyn Regehr dropping gloves a few minutes prior, although the two didn’t have much of a fight, and were only sent off with two minute roughing minors.
Tampa Bay is really lucky to have the lead in this game, especially after allowing Thomas Vanek to have a couple of insane scoring opportunities, including a breakaway for Vanek that probably should have resulted in a penalty shot, but instead drew a hooking call on Victor Hedman. Vanek already has three shots in the game.
Neither team allowed many shots in the second period (Tampa Bay had five and Buffalo had seven), but the Lightning have to stop allowing Vanek to become open all alone and allowing him to get any sort of scoring opportunity. This guy already has 11 goals on a young 2011-2012. This needs to be the number one focus for the Lightning going into the third period or it could get out of hand fast.