BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Ryan O’Reilly scored a goal and added two assists in the Buffalo Sabres’ 5-3 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.
Backup Chad Johnson stopped 26 shots to pick up just his fourth win and first in nine home appearances this season. Sam Reinhart scored twice, including an empty-netter with 8 seconds left.
Scott Wilson, with the go-ahead goal, and Nicholas Baptiste also scored for the Sabres, who won for just the second time in their past eight home games (2-5-1).
Lightning rookie Yanni Gourde scored his 22nd goal of the season and extended his point streak to seven games. Ryan Callahan and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored. Louis Domingue stopped 28 shots while starting in place of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was rested after allowing four goals on 23 shots in a 4-3 loss at Toronto on Monday night.
The Lightning had won six straight at Buffalo since a 2-1 shootout loss on Dec. 2, 2014. And Tampa Bay had gone 15-2-1 in its past 18 games – home and away – against Buffalo.
The Sabres, who sit last in the East, have now beaten the conference’s two top teams in a span of four days following a 4-2 win at Boston on Saturday. And they did it without top scorer Jack Eichel, who will miss between four and six weeks after spraining his right ankle in the first period against the Bruins.
O’Reilly’s power-play goal stood up as the winner in putting the Sabres up 4-2 with 16:19 left. O’Reilly began the play by feeding Kyle Okposo in the slot. Okposo’s one-timer missed, but the puck hit off the boards and landed at O’Reilly’s feet as he circled the net and wrapped a shot inside the left post.
Callahan cut the Sabres’ lead to 4-3 eight minutes later by converting a rebound in front after Johnson stopped Mikhail Sergachev’s blast from the blue line.
Johnson was 0-5-1 and had allowed 29 goals in his previous eight home appearances this season. This is Johnson’s second stint in three seasons with the Sabres after playing for Calgary last year. His last win in Buffalo was a 25-save outing in a 4-1 victory over Toronto on March 31, 2016.
The Sabres received a huge boost from killing off the Lightning’s two-man-advantage that spanned 1:53 in the second period after Johan Larsson went off for slashing and Zemgus Girgensons was called for tripping. The Lightning managed just one shot on net thanks to blocked shots by O’Reilly, Marco Scandella and Jacob Josefson.
Wilson scored the go-ahead goal with 4:13 left in the second period by deflecting in Casey Nelson’s shot from the right boards.
The goal came 2 1/2 minutes after Namestnikov tied it by capitalizing on Callahan forcing a turnover. Johnson left his net to calm a rolling puck for defenseman Victor Antipin. As Antipin attempted to ring the puck behind the net, Callahan got a piece of Antipin’s stick to redirect the puck into the crease, where Namestnikov scored before Johnson could get back in position.
Reinhart scored on the power play to put the Sabres up 2-1 when he converted a rebound at the left post after Domingue spread-eagled to stop O’Reilly’s one-timer from the slot.
Baptiste opened the scoring 6:25 in by driving in alone after being set up by a pass from Girgensons. Gourde tied it with a power-play goal seven minutes later by driving to the front and redirecting in Nikita Kucherov’s hard pass from the right circle.
NOTES: Lightning C Tyler Johnson’s 12 assists in 19 games against Buffalo are his most against any team. … Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper coached his 400th career game, and entered the day with a 226-135-38 record over six seasons. Only current Columbus coach John Tortorella has more wins (239) in Lightning franchise history. … The Sabres have scored power-play goal goals in 12 of their past 16 games.
Lightning: Open two-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Sabres: At Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
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