Sabres Use Early Three-Goal Flurry to Beat Lightning


January 6, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tyler Myers, Jochen Hecht and Clarke MacArthur scored in the first 2:11 of the game and the Buffalo Sabres held on for a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville also scored to help Buffalo win its fifth straight game, the team's longest winning streak since a six-game stretch in December 2007. Ryan Miller made 36 saves in his 300th NHL game.

Martin St. Louis, Victor Hedman and Vincent Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay, 5-2-1 in its last eight. Mike Smith, making his seventh straight start, stopped 30 shots.

The Sabres' early burst was the fastest three-goal start in team history. Myers' goal 23 seconds into play came on a slap shot immediately following a faceoff. Hecht scored 48 seconds later on a tip-in from the slot, and MacArthur finished the flurry with a scoop-in after Smith made the initial stop.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the fourth-fastest start by a team since 1979-80, and the fastest since Detroit scored three times in the first 1:48 of a 12-0 rout of Chicago in December 1987.

Tampa Bay, however, trimmed the lead to 3-2 by the end of the opening period with goals by St. Louis and Hedman.

Stafford restored the two-goal cushion with a power-play goal 1:19 into the second period. Lecavalier and Pominville traded goals later in the period.

Toni Lydman, Tim Connolly and Craig Rivet each had two assists for the Sabres.

Connolly extended his point streak to seven games, matching his career best previously done in January 2001 while with the New York Islanders. … St. Louis' goal gave him points in eight straight games. … Tampa Bay LW Alex Tanguay played in his 700th NHL game. … Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff earned his 465th victory, breaking a tie with Glen Sather for fourth place for career wins with one club. Ruff needs 35 wins to tie No. 3 Toe Blake, who had 500 with Montreal.

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