The Lightning completely lose their composure and disintegrate in the third period.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 7 goals on 28 shots for the loss. He completely lost his focus after getting slew footed on Buffalo's third goal. Whether or not that was goaltender interference, it's no excuse to let in the softies that came after that goal. No excuse at all.
06:36 TB Bergenheim (9), Lecavalier (17), Clark (14)
16:43 BUF Stafford (18), Leopold (19)
04:58 TB Lecavalier (10), Hedman (19)
11:24 TB Bergenheim (10), Malone (23)
18:10 BUF Vanek (20), Weber (5)
04:26 BUF Leopold (11), Ennis (17)
10:14 BUF Connolly (8), Ennis (18)
11:01 BUF Vanek (21), McCormick (8)
11:56 BUF Stafford (19), Morrisonn (3), Weber (6)
13:27 BUF Stafford (20), Leopold (20), Vanek (26)(PP)
16:19 TB Lecavalier (11), St Louis (45), Stamkos (33)(PP)
Vincent Lecavalier was named the game's third star. If there's one silver lining from the catastrophe tonight, it's that Lecavalier now has 3 goals in the last couple of games. Unfortunately, Lecavalier getting untracked has coincided with Gagne going cold again. I suppose the other silver lining was Sean Bergenheim getting a couple of goals. It's always nice to see an energetic digger like Bergenheim get himself a couple of goals.
The Lightning played a very immature game from the end of the second period on after pretty thoroughly dominating through much of the first 40 minutes. It was quite the fantastic meltdown, allowing a goal with less than 2 minutes in the second period to let Buffalo hang around and then the colossal overreaction on Buffalo's third goal. It was a 50/50 call, in my mind, whether that was goaltender interference, but even if the Sabres forward had pistol whipped Roloson deliberately, it was no excuse for how the Lightning reacted. Roloson completely lost his composure. Downie lost his mind and nearly shoved a linesman. Veterans and youth alike just completely acted the fool and lost their professionalism from that moment on, turning over the puck and failing to take care of their responsibilities. That's the worst the Lightning has reacted to adversity this season, and I'm absolutely puzzled as to why it happened. It's like the Lightning couldn't believe adversity had the audacity to happen to them. Gentlemen: adversity's going to try to kick the snot out of you come playoff time. You'd better learn to handle it better than you did tonight.
It was a particularly costly loss in that not only do the Lightning stay just 3 points ahead of Washington (thank goodness San Jose beat them tonight) in the division but Matt Smaby and Ryan Malone were hurt in the loss. Steve Downie was also temporarily banged up and he's lucky he didn't get himself suspended for shoving the hand away of a linesman. Bad night. Really bad night.
Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.