The Buffalo Sabres added another thrilling chapter to their rivalry with the Lightning

While the Buffalo Sabres Saturday matinee didn’t end the way they hoped, it nonetheless provided a thriller in what was yet another close matchup.
Jan 20, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Brandon Hagel (38) and Buffalo
Jan 20, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Brandon Hagel (38) and Buffalo / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

If there has been one guarantee in the Buffalo Sabres rivalry with the Tampa Bay Lightning lately, it’s that you can, for the most part, a close, hard-fought contest between both teams. While the Blue and Gold couldn’t skate away with the W this afternoon, it was yet another thriller that saw a defensive game overall. 

Early in the contest, Buffalo committed a pair of turnovers, both of which led to Lightning goals and proved to be the difference-maker. As the game went on, the Sabres found some chemistry, but were only able to get one past goaltender Jonas Johansson to move within one goal before ultimately losing 3-1. 

Buffalo’s offense picked up in the third, and they more than doubled their shots on goal total from the first two periods, with 15 in that final stanza. We saw quite a few good looks, especially in the first 10 minutes of the third, but Johansson brought his A-game to this one. 

Despite loss, the Buffalo Sabres engaged in yet another thriller with Tampa

Earlier in the year, the Sabres blew a 2-0 lead vs. the Lightning, only to snag the win in overtime, but we also can’t forget about the way these two teams played one another in 2022-23. While the Sabres lost 5-3 in early November 2022, they ended up with a near-upset in a 6-5 overtime loss on November 28th of that year before narrowly winning the next one in February, which also went to overtime. 

The Buffalo Sabres also won the final game on March 4th by a score of 5-3, meaning the last six games between these two teams either came by one or two goals. It will be interesting to see what happens between the two clubs when they meet again on February 29th, and in the season finale on April 15th. 


(Information provided by and Hockey-Reference)