The action started off early at the First Niagara Center tonight between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres. Here are some of our knee jerk reactions to the first period of play.
While the scoring may not have started up right away, the tensions sure did. Just over 3 minutes into the game, Buffalo left wing Marcus Foligno almost took penalty box the head off of Lightning center Valtteri Filppula.
As a result, Foligno drew the ire of Bolts defenseman Radko Gudas. After the gloves were dropped and the dust cleared, both men were awarded fighting majors and sent to the box for five minutes.
Unfortunately, the Bolts were not able to capitalize.
Interestingly enough, the scrapping didn’t end there. Just after the halfway point in the period, Buffalo right win Patrick Kaleta would get all up in the face of Steven Stamkos; however, the refs intervened; no gloves were dropped, and no penalties were assessed.
At 12:38 in the period, the gloves would come off again; this time between Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Sabres center Steve Ott. Apparently, Hedman took exception to what he believed to be a late hit by Ott. When the gloves were dropped a poor unfortunate ref happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and almost got taken out in the process. Both men were handed 5 minute majors for Fighting.
It seems like that is the chosen penalty of the night for these two teams.
In the final seconds of the period, Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis was sent off for 2 minutes for Holding Gudas. This penalty will continue into the second period.
While Tampa hasn’t been particularly beast mode this period with their offense, neither has Buffalo. The Shots on Goal this period were 10 – 3 in favor of the Lightning. All things being said, they are actually on par for a decent shot count should they keep this same pace. However, no one strives for decency; they strive for excellence.
The Bolts also lead the pack in the faceoff circle tonight this far. The Faceoffs won are 10-7 in favor of the Bolts.
Hopefully, the Lightning can capitalize on the Power Play they will be continuing in the opening minute of the second period. So far tonight, the Bolts have gone 0-1 on the PP, but there is still a lot of hockey left to play.
What are your takeaways from the first 20 minutes of play between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres. What do you think the Bolts need to do to break the scoring slump in the next period. Let’s discuss in the comments below.
Check back with us later as we take a look at the second period of play and offer our reactions.