NHL on NBCSN: Bolts look to break out of scoring funk against Sabres

2 Comments

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have scored more than one goal in a game just twice in their last eight contests.

The Lightning are looking for answers and after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Minnesota, head coach Jon Cooper admitted he didn’t have any.

“The one thing we tell our guys is, ‘It’s going to turn,’ ” Cooper said. “There’s too many good players in there doing too many good things. Eventually it’s going to happen. It’s crazy. It feels like there’s a panel of glass behind the goalies.”

The good news?

One of the two teams they filled the net against (recently) was the Buffalo Sabres.

In a 4-1 win over the Sabres on Nov. 5, the Lightning scored three goals on 11 shots against rookie goalie Linus Ullmark.

They won’t face Ullmark on Tuesday night, as Chad Johnson will get the call in goal, but he hasn’t fared well against the Bolts either.

In four career games against the Lightning, Johnson has an 0-3-0 record, a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .879 save percentage.

Things won’t get easier for the Lightning, as they announced that they’ll be without forward Ondrej Palat (lower body) for the next 3-to-5 weeks. Palat makes up one third of the triplets line with Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson.

After a disastrous 2014-15 season, the Sabres have shown some improvement this year. The loss to the Lightning on Nov. 5 was their only defeat in their last four games. The arrow seems to be pointing up for them.

Buffalo will be without two important pieces of their own in this game. Defenseman Zach Bogosian has yet to suit up for them this season and forward Evander Kane will miss his seventh straight game with a knee injury.

One player they will have in their lineup is rookie phenom Jack Eichel.

The 19-year-old is coming off the first multi-point game of his career and he now has five goals and seven points in 14 games.

Eichel scored one of those five goals against the Lightning.