The skilled players of the Tampa Bay Lightning, were, in the words of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, “pretty soft.”
Apparently not. But some things are learned the hard way.
The Lightning, atop the Atlantic Division standings, scored four unanswered goals to defeat the last-place Sabres by a final score of 5-1 on Wednesday. The two teams had combined for just 21 shots on goal through two periods, before the Lightning bolted away in the third period, outshooting Buffalo by a 14-1 margin. They promptly took over on the score board.
OK. Steven Stamkos didn’t register a point. But Tyler Johnson, listed at 5’9″ and 182 pounds, had three assists and is up to 40 points in 38 games. Nikita Kucherov, listed at 5’11” and 171 pounds, had two goals and an assist. And Ondrej Palat had one goal and four points in the win.
You get the idea.
“We just play well together, we play for each other and that’s why we have the success,’’ Kucherov told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “We don’t play selfish.’’