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game recap

Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Buffalo Sabres 1 FINAL

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:29 AM

Associated Press

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Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Buffalo Sabres 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Buffalo Sabres 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A seasoned veteran and an All-Star goaltender stopped the Tampa Bay Lightning's worst slump of the season.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves and Dave Andreychuk scored his second goal in two games in the Tampa Bay's 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

The win was Tampa's first in seven games (1-4-2) and snapped their three-game losing streak.

"If we can't learn a lesson from that guy, then we're blind," Tampa coach John Tortorella said of Andreychuk, a 22-year veteran. "He was trying to make a statement tonight."

Andreychuk, drafted by the Sabres in the first round of the 1982 draft, scored his 616th career goal and third of the season midway through the second period to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. After a shot from Shane Willis, Andreychuk outmuscled defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick immediately in front of the net and shoveled the rebound underneath goaltender Martin Biron.

The goal proved to be the winner.

"I've been trying to stay in front of the goal a little more," Andreychuk said. "We were just trying to get shots and keep it simple. I don't think (Biron) expected me to get it off their guy."

Dimitry Afanasenkov and Fredrik Modin also scored for Tampa Bay, which had scored just six times during its six-game winless skid.

"When you're scoring one goal a game, there's a fine line of making mistakes," Tortorella said.

Khabibulin allowed just one goal in his fifth start in the last six games. He made several key saves early in the game, including one on a point-blank shot by Maxim Afinogenov in the first period, and withstood a five-shot barrage by Buffalo in the first two minutes of the second.

Khabibulin also robbed Dumont on a breakaway with less than four minutes left in the second.

"We generated a lot of chances but (Khabibulin) made some big saves," Buffalo's Curtis Brown said. "That was the difference."

"It's always nice to end a losing streak," Khabibulin said. "But one game doesn't make up for it."

The momentum of the game seemed to change when Afanasenkov tied the score at 1 with just 7 seconds remaining in the first after beating Biron with a hard wrist shot from the high slot.

It was Afanasenkov's second goal of the year, and first since the season opener.

"He shot it off his off-foot and it kind of handcuffed me and went under my glove," Biron said.

J.P. Dumont scored for Buffalo, which lost its second straight and third out of its last four.

"We came out and had some good opportunities in the second period," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Khabibulin, he's one of the best in the league, if not the best. He was on tonight."

Biron allowed three goals on 29 shots.

"We showed a lot tonight," Biron said. "We deserved a better outcome. It's frustrating."

Dumont gave Buffalo 1-0 lead eight minutes into the first period, beating Khabibulin between the legs with a low wrist shot from 8 feet away.

Modin capped the scoring for the Lightning with his seventh goal at 6:23 of the third.

The Sabres lost for just the first time in regulation when scoring the first goal of the game.

Willis added two assists for the Lightning, whose last win before Saturday came against the Sabres on Nov. 22.

"I felt pretty good tonight," Khabibulin said. "We got the two points and that's what I'm happy about."

scoring summary
1st Period
08:22
BUF
J-P Dumont (10) Slapshot - ASST: Dmitri Kalinin (6), Jochen Hecht (5)
1 - 0 BUF
19:53
TBL
Dimitri Afanasenkov (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Dingman (1), Tim Taylor (4)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
10:30
TBL
Dave Andreychuk (3) Slapshot - ASST: Shane Willis (2), Martin St. Louis (14)
2 - 1 TBL
3rd Period
06:23
TBL
Freddy Modin (7) Slapshot - ASST: Shane Willis (3), Vincent Lecavalier (6)
3 - 1 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
09:04
BUF
Daniel Briere  Boarding against  Pavel Kubina
11:13
TBL
Jassen Cullimore  Hooking against  Daniel Briere
2nd Period
00:19
TBL
Cory Sarich  Roughing against  Ales Kotalik
00:19
TBL
Cory Sarich  Misconduct (10 min)
01:57
BUF
Daniel Briere  Tripping
03:41
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Roughing against  Ben Clymer
03:41
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Fighting (maj) against  Ben Clymer
03:41
TBL
Ben Clymer  Roughing against  Dmitri Kalinin
03:41
TBL
Ben Clymer  Fighting (maj) against  Dmitri Kalinin
08:27
BUF
Alexei Zhitnik  Interference against  Shane Willis
11:27
BUF
Miroslav Satan  Roughing against  Nolan Pratt
11:27
TBL
Nolan Pratt  Roughing against  Miroslav Satan
11:27
TBL
Nolan Pratt  Roughing against  Miroslav Satan
18:21
BUF
Ales Kotalik  Roughing against  Ruslan Fedotenko
18:21
TBL
Ruslan Fedotenko  Roughing against  Ales Kotalik
19:32
TBL
Cory Sarich  Holding against  Daniel Briere
3rd Period
06:53
BUF
Adam Mair  Elbowing against  Chris Dingman
19:32
TBL
Cory Sarich  Closing hand on puck
goalie stats
Nikolai Khabibulin
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 38TOI: 60:00
Saves: 37EV: 28 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .974SH: 2 - 2
Martin Biron
SA: 29TOI: 59:15
Saves: 26EV: 22 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .897SH: 1 - 1