Buffalo (23-11-1) at Tampa Bay (18-14-3) 7:30 pm EST
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After falling one win shy of tying the
NHL record for consecutive road wins, the Buffalo Sabres hope
to avoid their first losing streak in over two months Friday
when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Sabres won nine straight on the road and seven in a row
overall before dropping a 4-1 decision Thursday to the Florida
Panthers. Goaltender Martin Biron made 26 saves but was
outplayed by Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo and suffered his
first loss in 14 starts.
Rookie Thomas Vanek scored the only goal for Buffalo, which
still is 17-2-1 in its last 20 games and has not lost
consecutive contests since a four-game slide from November 2-9.
The Lightning will be trying to reverse their fortunes after
Thursday's 4-2 setback to the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay
rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, but
defenseman Nolan Pratt was called for a controversial delay of
game penalty with just over three minutes remaining and New
York's Tom Poti notched the game-winner on the ensuing power
Brad Richards had a goal and an assist to extend his points
streak to eight games and John Grahame stopped 32 shots for the
defending Stanley Cup champions, who have lost three straight
games and four of their last five overall.