Ondrej Palat had two goals and an assist and Ben Bishop (10-0-1 lifetime against Buffalo) in his return after missing nine games with a lower-body injury, stopped 24 shots leading the Tampa Bay Lightning (20-619-4) over the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 last night at Amalie Arena.
Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman also scored for Tampa Bay, which stopped a four-game losing streak. Lightning center Brian Boyle (lower body, four games) and defenseman Braydon Coburn (upper body, two games) also came back from injuries.
The first period ended with the Bolts leading in shots 9-6.
Ondrej Palat scored again at 5:18 of the second period, from Nikita Nesterov (7) and Vladislav Namestnikv (12). Palat pounced on a rebound in the slot and beat Anders Nilsson for his ninth of the year.
Hedman and Marcus Foligno dropped the gloves as the second period ended. Hedman was sticking up for his goalie and he got in trouble early but bounced back and teed off on Foligno. It was Hedman’s fifth career fight and his first in four years.
Shots on goal at this point were 17-15 in favor of the Lightning.
Things started to get chippy late in the third.
Anton Stralman scored an empty netter to put it away for the Bolts 4-2.
Shots ended up 29-26 in favor of the Bolts. The Bolts went 4=for-4 on the penalty kill which was key to the victory.
Tampa Bay will host the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow at 7:30 PM. Get there early as the Lightning will be retiring Martin St. Louis number.
NOTES: Hedman has 31 assists this season. … Moulson stopped an 11-game goal drought. … Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan, sidelined for the third time since offseason hip surgery, missed his second straight game.