Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Sabres' offense needs to break out of slump to keep pace with Lightning's ability to strike

By John Vogl

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay averages nearly four goals per game. The Sabres have totaled two goals in their last three games.

Obviously, Buffalo needs to pick up the pace to have any chance against the Lightning.

Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 69 goals in 18 games, an average of 3.8 per outing. The Lightning have scored 33 goals in third periods. Buffalo, by contrast, has 47 goals all year.

"They’re a team that gets up and down real quick," Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said after the morning skate in Tampa Bay Times Forum. "Both offensively and defensively we’re going to have to play faster."

The Sabres' offense could get a boost if the power play wakes up. Buffalo is in a 2-for-46 drought. Tampa's penalty killers rank tied for 12th with a 82.8 percent success rate.

"For us, I think it’s more of a confidence thing both on the power play now and five-on-five to generate offense," Rolston said. "I think we’re getting some quality looks and some chances, and now it’s just finishing, not squeezing our stick."

The Sabres will scratch defenseman T.J. Brennan and forward John Scott. Ryan Miller will start in goal against Tampa's Mathieu Garon.

Ron Rolston


Tampa Bay Lightning
comments powered by Disqus
John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |