Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sabres Fall to Tampa, but Not without Several Fights

Fans who came to see the Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres fight at the Amalie Arena tonight might have been surprised when a hockey game broke out in the first two periods. But the two teams combined for 23 penalties and 106 minutes in the third to more and satiate any red-blooded hockey fan's thirst for blood.

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Things got really nutty at 7:54 of the third when Steven Stamkos took offense to a shove by Sabres' Mike Weber after a whistle and wildly slashed away at his stick (see video above). Stamkos, whose slash was clearly questionable and a little bit reckless, believed his team's dominant performance was the cause of Buffalo's frustration.

"If teams are going to play like that and kind of test us physically, guys aren't going to back down," captain Steven Stamkos said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "The strength of our game is utilizing our speed and skill and playing the game. When things get out of hand like that, it's obviously because other teams are frustrated and we've been doing something right."

Buffalo had won six of seven, including a win over the Lightning in a shootout two days ago, but on Thursday they were no match for the high-flying Bolts.

The Lightning improve to an NHL-best 18-6-3 with the win.

"We wanted to beat them and show everyone why we're one of the top teams in the league, and I think we put that on display in the second period," Stamkos said. "That's what won us the game."