Tampa Bay can wrap up the division title and the best record in the East with a win in its season finale Saturday night at Carolina, or a loss by second-place Boston in either of its final two games.
“Is there anything else that needs to be said?” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Win a hockey game, win the division.”
The Lightning played their second consecutive game without center Steven Stamkos (lower-body injury), who is expected to be back for the playoffs.
Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander each got his first NHL goal for the last-place Sabres. The Elias Sports Bureau says it was first time two Buffalo players got their first goals in the same game since May 3, 1995, when Curtis Brown and Wayne Primeau accomplished the feat.