BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rookie Jack Quinn scored during Buffalo's three-goal second period, and the Sabres beat the the slumping Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Saturday in a chippy Atlantic Division matchup.
Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner, Tyson Jost and Vinnie Hinostroza also scored for Buffalo (32-25-4), which matched its win total from last year. Eric Comrie stopped 30 shots.
The Sabres were coming off consecutive losses to Columbus and Boston by a combined 12-4 score. They won two straight meetings against the Lightning for the first time since February 2018, following a 6-5 overtime win at Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
The Lightning dropped to 0-3-1 in their past four to mark the team’s longest skid since losing four straight a year ago. Tampa Bay, coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday, has been outscored by a combined margin of 21-11 in its past four.
Brayden Point, Nick Perbix and Alex Killorn scored for the Lightning, and Brian Elliott stopped 29 shots.
The matchup quickly got away from Tampa Bay after Point opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 6:32 left in the first period.
Thompson tied it with his NHL-leading 20th first-period goal 2 1/2 minutes later, and Buffalo broke it open in the second. Skinner’s power-play goal 53 seconds into the third lifted the Sabres to a 5-1 lead.
Hinostroza snapped a 1-1 tie 5:35 into the second after he was set up by Casey Mittelstadt, who outmuscled Killorn for the puck behind the Lightning net. Jost converted a 3-on-2 break for a short-handed goal at 12:30, and Quinn scored from the right circle with 14 seconds left.
The Sabres took advantage of their speed, consistently beating Tampa Bay to loose pucks, and refused to back down when challenged by the more physical Lightning.
The second period featured a skirmish between Skinner and Anthony Cirelli, and a fight in which Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot knocked down and bloodied Sabres defenseman Riley Stillman. Jeannot and Stillman were recently acquired in trades.
Sabres forward Jordan Greenway, acquired in a trade from Minnesota on Friday, has experienced travel difficulties. He had not yet arrived in Buffalo. ... With defenseman Rasmus Dahlin returning after missing three games with a lower-body injury, the Sabres sat defenseman Jacob Bryson. ... Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak was scratched. He is day to day with a lower-body injury.
Point extended his point streak to seven games, in which he has seven goals and six assists for 13 points. With an assist on Point’s goal, Nikita Kucherov upped his point streak to eight games (one goal, eight assists for nine points). Kucherov also has points in 15 of 16 career games against Buffalo, and 13 straight (10 goals, 24 points).
Lightning: Complete two-game road swing at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Sabres: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.