The two teams will meet for the second time at KeyBank Center; Buffalo won 2-1 on Nov. 13 behind a 29-save outing by goalie Carter Hutton.
Tampa Bay’s latest win — the Lightning’s ninth in 10 games — came on a third-period comeback against Carolina on Thursday night.
Buffalo welcomed back standout Jack Eichel to the lineup after a three-game absence on Friday night against the Hurricanes, but the Sabres did not exactly flounder with the former Boston University star sidelined due to an upper-body injury.
In fact, Buffalo coach Phil Housley liked the play of Tage Thompson so much during the 2-1-0 stretch without Eichel that he put the 6-foot-6, second-year forward on the top line at right wing in place of Sam Reinhart to even out the lines’ scoring.
Thompson, 21, played beside Eichel in Buffalo’s 4-3 loss at Raleigh, N.C., against the Hurricanes, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back set.
Buffalo left winger Jeff Skinner, who scored 204 goals in eight seasons with Carolina, was voted into the All-Star Game on Friday as one of the “Last Men In,” representing the Atlantic Division.
The Hurricanes honored Skinner, who played in his 289th game at PNC Arena and first as a visitor, with a video tribute in the first period, highlighting the time spent with the club by the 2010-11 Calder Trophy winner (rookie of the year).
Done Katch’ng up but want to read more? Read more here.