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Stamkos, Bishop key Lightning past Sabres, 5-0

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist during Tampa Bay’s three-goal second period, Ben Bishop made 13 saves, and the Lightning beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-0 on Thursday night.

Nikita Kucherov, Brenden Morrow, Jason Garrison and Brett Connolly had the other Tampa Bay goals. The Eastern Conference-leading Lightning improved to 5-0-1 in the last six games, with lone loss in a 2-1 shootout defeat at Buffalo on Tuesday.

Buffalo, which had won six of seven, went 22 1/2 minutes without a shot during one stretch before Rasmus Ristolainen got one with 3:41 left in the second.

The Sabres, last in the Atlantic Division, are 1-13-1 when the opponent scores first, and are pointless when trailing after the first (0-10-0) and second (0-12-0) periods.

After Stamkos was left alone near the post and scored his 16th goal of the season off a pass from Ryan Callahan at 4:28 of the second, Morrow made it 3-0 from in-close 71 seconds later.

The Lightning went up 4-0 on Garrison’s goal with 6:20 left in the period.

Bishop made a nice save on Zemgus Girgensons late in the second.

Kucherov opened the scoring 2:33 into the game when he redirected Radko Gudas’ shot past Jhonas Enroth. He has three goals and five points during a five-game point streak.

Enroth was credited with a save on Tyler Johnson’s shot during a 2-on-none that hit the post in the final minute of the first.

There were three scrums through the midway point of the third that resulted in four fighting majors and six 10-minute misconducts.

Connolly had a late third-period power-play goal. Stamkos got his second assist of the game on it.

NOTES: Bishop is 5-0-1 against the Sabres. … This was Bishop’s first shutout this season and ninth overall. … Buffalo C Cody McCormick was back in the lineup after missing four games with a concussion. … Tampa Bay C Tyler Johnson had an assist to extend his point streak to five games (five assists, seven points). …. Sabres RW Drew Stafford missed his third game due to a lower body injury but could be back this weekend. … There was a video tribute and a moment of silence before the game for Montreal great Jean Beliveau, who died this week.

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