The Tampa Bay Lightning (4-3-2) won their third straight game, getting a 4-3 victory in Buffalo Tuesday night.
This game could have easily gotten ugly for the Lightning, but Mathieu Garon stood on his head with 36 saves, including 16 in the game’s final stanza to help the Lightning to its third straight victory and its second straight against Buffalo.
The victory wasn’t an easy one for the Lightning, who found themselves behind two goals within 2:31 of the first period, after two quick tallies from Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes that came within 35 seconds of each other.
The Lightning’s defense played poorly in the neutral zone, had multiple turnovers and showcased a quite poor effort in the first period. Buffalo dominated the forecheck but the Lightning began pressing, eventually getting a goal from Vincent Lecavalier at 13:03 of the first period after an impressive pass from Martin St. Louis. Lecavalier’s goal was his 800th career point.
Nate Thompson put one in past Ryan Miller from behind the net to tie the game at two with a minute left in the first period. Steven Stamkos scored his fourth goal of the season at 4:42 of the second period to give Tampa Bay its first lead of the game. Garon was again forced to make some solid saves, including two impressive ones on Vanek in the second period. Vanek was alone on two shots, including a breakaway that should have been called a penalty shot. The Lightning were lucky it was not called. That might not have ended well..
After consecutive timely saves by Garon, the Lightning extended the lead when Ryan Malone scored on a breakaway at 18:37 of the third period to put the Lightning up 4-2 but Buffalo got a goal from Nathan Gerbe, who scored with 49.2 seconds left to keep things interesting. Garon undoubtedly was the reason the Lightning won this game tonight, making highlight reel saves until the final buzzer sounded to seal a Lightning win.
The Lightning were very lucky to get this win, especially after the horrendous showing in the first period.