Sabres Struck by Tampa Bay Lightning, Lose 3-1

December 19, 2010 Updated Dec 19, 2010 at 12:49 AM EDT

By WKBW News

...

Sabres Struck by Tampa Bay Lightning, Lose 3-1

December 19, 2010 Updated Dec 19, 2010 at 12:49 AM EDT

Tampa Bay, FL (WKBW) After an embarrassing loss against the Florida Panthers on Friday night, the Sabres looked to rebound as they stayed in the state of Florida to play the high energy Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ryan Miller was back in the net after being pulled against the Panthers. He faced off against Steven Stamkos, who is second in the league in goals and points.

Early in the first period, Tim Connolly was hit hard in the corner, his face hitting the boards hard. Connolly was down on the ice for a short time, and left the game with a cut nose. He would get stitched up and return.

The game went into the second period scoreless, until Simon Gagne took a pass right in front of Ryan Miller, flipped the puck over Miller's shoulder, putting the Lightning up 1-0. Later in the period, on a rush into the Buffalo zone, some quick passing wound up on the stick of Stamkos, who put it home, scoring his 25th goal of the season.

Less than a minute left in the third, Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville connected on a quick rush to cut the Tampa lead to 2-1.

Buffalo played tough in the third period, and despite giving up a penalty shot, Miller came up strong to keep the Sabres in the game. But as time dwindled in the third, Stamkos found Martin St. Louis for the empty net goal. Tampa went up 3-1, and skated off the ice with a win by that score.

The Sabres lose back to back games in the state of Florida. They return home to host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.