Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) looks up at the scoreboard after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Tampa Bay Lightning defeat the Sabres 6-1

The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the Buffalo Sabres 6-1 last night in a midweek match up at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.

This is the second matchup of the season for the two teams. On Oct. 25, the Lightning traveled to Buffalo losing 5-1.

Establishing an offensive rhythm early on

Within the first three minutes of the game, Tampa established an offensive presence with an early goal from Ondrej Palat.

Palat did not play in the third period due to an undisclosed injury according to ESPN. The left-winger is listed as day-to-day.

The goals

The team had a strong steady offensive rhythm, scoring twice in the first period, three times in the second period and one time in the third period.

Nikita Kucherov scored three goals in just his sixth game back after missing over 30 games due to a lower body injury per reports. The 28- year-old has scored four goals and earned five assists so far in the regular season.

Veteran center, Steven Stamkos scored one goal and contributed two assists in the midweek victory. This is Stamkos 17th goal of the season and earned his 27th assist.

Center Anthony Cirelli scored an early goal in the first period to put the Lightning up 2-0. Cirelli also earned one assist on Steven Stamkos goal in the second period. The 24-year-old has 10 goals and 12 assists so far in the regular season.

In addition to the offensive dominance on the ice from Tampa, the defense also put together a strong defensive performance blocking 11 shots. The Lightning also held the Sabres scoreless until the third period.

Up next for the lightning

Tampa Bay is coming off of a 5-2 loss against the Boston Bruins. They were scheduled to face New Jersey on Jan. 10, however, the game got postponed. They will return to Amalie Arena on Thursday to take on the Vancouver Canucks.

The Lightning have recorded 24 wins, nine losses and five OT/ Shootout losses. They are currently ranked second in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Florida Panthers.

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