BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Alex Killorn scored 1:50 into overtime to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the winless Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Teddy Purcell, with the tying goal 5:43 into the third period, and Tyler Johnson also scored for the Lightning (2-1), who have two wins after regulation.
Tampa Bay has yet to hold a lead in regulation after coming off a 3-2 shootout victory at Chicago in which the Lightning overcame a 2-0 third-period deficit.
Jamie McBain and Cody Hodgson had a goal and assist each for Buffalo (0-3-1).
Despite the loss, Buffalo finally generated some offense by doubling its season goal total. And the Sabres also earned a point to avoid extending their franchise-worst season-opening losing streak to four games.
Buffalo had previously never lost more than two straight in regulation.
Killorn’s goal came during a scramble in front and after Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth stopped Valtteri Filppula’s shot from in close.
Filppula then circled the net and passed the puck out front, where Killorn drove across the top of the crease and backhanded a shot into the open right side.
There was a confusing turn of events that led to Purcell’s power-play goal that tied the game at 2.
Thomas Vanek tipped in McBain’s point shot 22 seconds earlier, but the goal was waved off by referee Jean Hebert, who called Vanek for a high-sticking penalty.
What was confusing is that Hebert had his arm up while the Sabres controlled the puck as if to indicate a delayed penalty against the Lightning.
Vanek’s high-stick on Lightning defender Matthew Carle occurred about 5 seconds earlier. And Enroth was caught off guard, as he left the net for an extra attacker once Hebert’s arm went up.
The crowd’s cheers then quickly turned into a rain of boos, which got louder after Purcell scored to cap a nifty three-way passing play with Vanek in the penalty box.
Following the game, the NHL issued an email to explain what happened on the disallowed goal. The league said, Hebert did not see Sabres forward Steve Ott touch the puck and pass it to McBain at the point. The league backed Hebert in ruling that he made the right call by disallowing the goal.
“The net result was the correct call — no goal, penalty to Buffalo,” the release said.
The Sabres finally generated a semblance of an offense after managing just two goals through their first three games.
And both goals came on the power play, which entered the game 0 for 13 this season, and 0 for 16 in its previous five games going back to last year.
Buffalo took its first lead of the season 11:09 into the second period when Hodgson opened the scoring.
After Johnson tied the game 2:26 later, McBain put the Sabres ahead again on Buffalo’s third power-play opportunity with 1:26 left in the second.
By scoring two goals, the Sabres avoided several dubious marks. They avoided becoming only the 15th NHL team to open a season with three or fewer goals through four games. That’s a group that includes the 1970-71 Sabres, who opened their inaugural season with three goals in four games.
The Sabres managed just three shots in the first period. And Buffalo actually went 14:14 without a shot, before Zemgus Girgensons managed one 4:31 into the second period. Girgensons’ shot was greeted by a Bronx cheer.
NOTES: Sabres LW Marcus Foligno returned after missing the first three games with a shoulder injury, and was immediately reunited with his former linemates, C Tyler Ennis and RW Drew Stafford. … Sabres G Ryan Miller returned, serving as a backup after sitting out one game with a lower-body injury. … With an assist on Purcell’s goal, Lightning RW Martin St. Louis earned his 915th career point to move into a tie with Bobby Orr for 94th on the NHL list. … The Lightning concluded a three-game road trip, and return home to play seven straight at home.