Sabres return home to battle Lightning on TSN2

The Sports Network

10/25/2011 11:22:16 AM

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres are back home and will host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in the opener of a five-game residency at First Niagara Center.

You can watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN2 Mobile TV at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.

Tuesday's game represents the back end of a home-and-home series with the Lightning. The Sabres will also welcome Columbus, Florida, Philadelphia and Calgary to town on the homestand and recently recorded three wins in four road games. However, Buffalo had a three-game winning streak cut short with Saturday's 3-0 loss at Tampa Bay.

Ryan Miller made 23 saves on 25 shots faced in defeat for Buffalo, which was outshot by a 26-21 margin. Miller is still 10 wins from passing Dominik Hasek's franchise record of 234 and owns a 17-5-0 mark all-time against Tampa Bay.

"We didn't win the battles, and that's why we lost the game," said Buffalo forward Ville Leino.

Sabres pivot Tyler Ennis left the game after playing just one shift due to an ankle injury. He is questionable for Tuesday. Right wing Brad Boyes will appear in his 500th consecutive game tonight.

The Lightning have won two in a row since a five-game losing streak and got great goaltending from Mathieu Garon, who made 21 saves to earn his first shutout of the season and 20th of his career. Garon comes into tonight's game with a 1.51 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage.

"The way we play defensively made it easy on me," Garon said. "We blocked a lot of shots and took care of the rebounds. We've played well the last two games."

Pavel Kubina and Martin St. Louis both scored, while Victor Hedman added an empty-net goal for the Lightning, who will visit Nashville after tonight's tilt in upstate New York.

Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier is five assists shy of 450 and one point short of 800 for his career. He is riding a three-game points streak.

Buffalo went 2-2-0 against Tampa Bay last season and has won six of the last nine matchups between the two teams. The Sabres are 46-20-5 all-time against the Lightning and own a 22-11-2 ledger at home in this series.