The first period was a bipolar one of sorts for the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the first 10 minutes of period, the Lightning defense looked very shaky and had way too many turnovers that forced Mathieu Garon to stand on his head in net. Unfortunately, two Buffalo shots went in within 35 seconds of each other.
The first goal was scored by Thomas Vanek at 1:56 of the first period. Vanek now has 11 points on the 2011-2012 season. The second Buffalo goal was scored by Brad Boyes, who scored after a lucky bounce off of the boards.
The Sabres were absolutely dominating the forecheck for the majority of the first period but the Lightning got back into it showcasing some impressive forecheck of their own. Brett Connolly showed some forecheck pressure that set up an impressive Martin St. Louis pass to Vincent Lecavalier, who scored his 800th career point at 13:03 of the first period.
Steve Downie and Patrick Kaleta traded fighting majors, as Kaleta previously was jawing with Connolly.
Garon gave up some juicy rebounds in the final minutes of the first period, but the Sabres were unable to get any past him. Thankfully, Nate Thompson put one past Ryan Miller with only a minute left in the first period to tie the game at two.