Tonawanda News

Sabres

March 27, 2013

Stamkos, St. Louis send Lightning past Sabres

Tonawanda News — TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning were rewarded for their hard work.

Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis each had a goal and an assist and the Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Tuesday.

With new head coach Jon Cooper watching from an executive suite, the Lightning put together one of their most complete defensive efforts this season.

"We did a great job of building off of last game," Stamkos said. "We didn't get the result we wanted in Winnipeg, but we played a solid game. Today we started from the get-go and we finished with solid game."

Cooper is set to coach his first game on Friday against the New Jersey Devils.

Buffalo, which came into the game riding a three-game winning streak, was held to just 14 shots.

"There wasn't a lot of urgency in anything tonight," Buffalo coach Ron Rolston said. "(We'll) just get ready for the next game. We got to win the next one."

Stamkos scored his league-leading 23rd goal of the season off a deflection past Ryan Miller at 16:01 of the first period.

St. Louis extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:15 of the second period with a power-play goal off a sharp pass from Teddy Purcell.

"We wanted the puck today," Stamkos said. "We made plays and it showed out there."

The Lightning ended a three-game losing streak while Buffalo failed to make up ground in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres trail the eighth-place New York Rangers by five points.

Jordan Leopold scored for Buffalo at 16:52 of the third period.

"We weren't prepared enough, but the bottom line is we're in a race right now and we desperately needed those points," Leopold said. "We were on a roll there, too. You look at it, three games without a loss. We get something rolling there and go out and have that."

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