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Game 18 Recap: Lightning Down Sabres 4-1 For Third Straight Win

Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist and Ben Bishop was rock solid, making 32 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres last night.

The start of the game was all Buffalo as they outshot the Lightning 10-2. Goalie Ben Bishop was outstanding in the early going.

Nikita Nesterov got the Lightning on the board at 8:15,. Nesterov’s second of the year was assisted by Valtteri Filppula and Jonathan Drouin.  Nesterov is on a two-game goal streak and has three points (goal, two assists) in his last two games.

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Nikita Nesterov #89 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at the KeyBank Center on November 17, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Nikita Nesterov #89 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his first period goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at the KeyBank Center on November 17, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

The first period ended 1-0 in favor of the Bolts. Ben Bishop sparkled, stopping 15 shots.

Early in the second period Bishop gave up the puck up the middle and then had to dive back in front of the net to deny Kyle Okposo. A highlight reel goal for sure.

Alex Killorn scored his seventh goal on a great pass from Valtteri Filppula at 7:39. With the assist, Filppula earned his 400th career point (149 with the Lightning). Killorn’s goal snapped a 10-game goal drought.

Buffalo’s Cody Franson made it 2-1 on the power play from Evander Kane and Taylor Fedun at 12:50.

Nikita Kucherov spun, fired and scored with just 17.5 seconds left in the second period. The goal was Killorn’s ninth from Killorn.

Brayden Point scored on the power play for the second goal of his career at 18:00 of the third period from Tyler Johnson.

The Bolts led in shots 38-33 and was two for three on the power play.

Tampa Bay has won three straight for the first time since the start of season. They are now 11-6-1 overall.

Ben Bishop improved to 9-0-1 all-time against the Sabres. He saved 32 of 33 shots. Bishop has now won two-straight starts.

Lightning begin life without Stamkos with victory

 

Stamkos was third in the NHL in points with 20 prior to the injury.

“There’s always that emotional first game when you’re without your guy,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “So the problem is that it’s not just one game, it’s months and we just have to stay consistent. We have to play consistently well, we have to stick to our structure and just give that honest effort every single night.”

Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Nikita Nesterov, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point also scored for Tampa Bay, who have won three games in a row.

“It was the Ben Bishop show all the way,” Coach Jon Cooper said. “He must have made six 10-bell saves in the first few minutes of the game. I don’t understand what he was doing (on his giveaway). It’s not like he had to make another 10-bell save but I don’t know, maybe he had a little bet with Ryan Miller, who knows.”

The Bolts travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Saturday at 1:00 PM.

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