Sabres Shootout Lightning, 3-2
Sunday, 09.25.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
September 25, 2005
by Brian Wheeler
It took 11 cycles and 22 total shooters for the Buffalo Sabres to notch the 3-2 shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete's Times Forum on Sunday night. Jochen Hecht netted the game-winning goal as he fired a vicious wrist shot past Lightning goaltender John Grahame in the exciting finale. Martin Biron used a 70's style poke check to stop the ensuing attempt by Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin to secure the win.
"The guys really wanted the game tonight," stated Biron, who made 16 saves in the victory. "The shootout was a lot of fun but it's always better when you win."
Buffalo led 2-1 heading into the final moments of regulation when Artyukhin redirected a puck past Biron with his skate to tie the game with only 20 seconds remaining.
The tally was Artyukhin's second of the night and the first time the Sabres had allowed a game-tying goal in the final minute of play since March 15, 2000 when Vincent Damphousse scored a last second goal for the San Jose Sharks to tie that game, 5-5.
"The last goal for Tampa Bay was a lucky bounce and we wanted to make sure that we came out on top after that," stated Hecht.
Hecht and Thomas Vanek each recorded a goal in the second period to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead heading into the third.
The goal was Vanek's fifth of the preseason and his seventh point (5+2) in four games.
For the first time during exhibition play, Head coach Lindy Ruff reunited the line of Hecht, Daniel Briere and JP Dumont that so much successful with during the 2003-04 season. The chemistry between the three was rekindled immediately.
"It was fun to be back with Danny and JP," said Hecht. "We worked hard all night and had good shifts cycling the puck."
Jay McKee, Paul Gaustad and Rory Fitzpatrick each recorded assists for Buffalo.
The Sabres' three-game streak of scoring the first goal of the game ended at 18:19 of the first when Artyukhin recorded a power play goal to put the Lightning up 1-0.
Buffalo now moves to 3-1-0-0 in preseason play and will travel to Toronto on Tuesday night to face the Maple Leafs in the Air Canada Centre at 7:30 PM.
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0-0 (18:14): Andrew Peters and Mitch Fritz go toe-to-toe. The two grapple for a few seconds before Peters loses his footing. No clear winner.
0-1 (18:59): Evgeny Artyukhin puts the Lightning up 1-0 with a minute left in the first period on the power play. Darryl Sydor and Timo Helbling record the helpers. Buffalo's three-game streak of scoring the first goal of the game is broken.
Martin Biron allows a goal on seven shots and the Sabres go 0-3 on the power play to end the first.
1-1 (12:49): Jochen Hecht ties the game at 1-1. Hecht knocked the puck out of mid-air in the neutral zone, carried it into the offensive zone and took a 15-foot slap shot that beats Tampa Bay goaltender John Grahame. Defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick records the only assist.
2-1 (18:08): Thomas Vanek scores his fifth goal of the preseason. Jay McKee takes a shot from the point which was saved by Grahame. Rebound deflects off Paul Gaustad to Vanek, who roofs the backhand over Grahame. The Lightning goaltender was down from the slap shot save. McKee and Gaustad are credited with the assists.
2-1 (3:59): Jochen Hecht and Lightning center Andre Deveaux get in a wrestling match in front of Tampa Bay's net. No real punches were thrown before the fight is seperated.
2-1 (12:40): Vanek rings a one-timer off the post on the power-play.
2-2 (19:40): Artyukhin deflects a puck with his skate past Biron with only 20 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. The goal is the second for Artyukhin in the game. Tampa Bay had pulled their goaltender for the sixth attacker.
Sabres - Jason Pominville (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Marek Kvapil (Save Biron)
Sabres - Ales Kotalik (Score)
Lightning - Ruslan Fedotenko (Score)
Sabres - Tim Connolly (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Dimitry Afanasenkov (Save Biron)
Sabres - Thomas Vanek (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Martin Cibak (Save Biron)
Sabres - Daniel Briere (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Jason Jaspers (Save Biron)
Sabres - JP Dumont (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Rob Dimaio (Save Biron)
Sabres - Derek Roy (Save Graham)
Lightning - Ryan Craig (Miss Net Wide)
Sabres - Taylor Pyatt (Score)
Lighting - Chris Dingman (Score)
Sabres - Rory Fitzpatrick (Save Grahame)
Lightning - Timo Helbling (Save Biron)
Sabres - Maxim Afinogenov (Lost the puck)
Lightning - Darryl Sydor (Save Biron)
Sabres - Jochen Hecht (Score) - Fired a blazing wrist shot past Grahame
Lightning - Evgeny Artyukhin (Save Biron)