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Thompson Injured; Cozens, Comrie Step Up in Sabres Win Over Lightning

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Buffalo Sabres Tampa Bay Lightning game recap

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in the final game of the 2023-2024 season. Our attention will turn towards the offseason, but first, let’s highlight some instant reactions from Monday’s game.

Thompson Injury

Tage Thompson left the game early and did not return, as his last shift was with 9:01 left in the first period. The Sabres announced it was a lower-body injury for their top center.

This concludes a down season for Thompson, with dips in games played (70), goals (29), and points (56). This comes after two breakout seasons with 38 goals and 68 points in 2021-2022 and 47 goals and 94 points in 2022-2023, both in 78 games.

Dylan Cozens

After being the focus of our game preview, Dylan Cozens responded right on cue. It’s been a rough season offensively for Cozens, with rotating linemates and a bigger defensive role. He scored the first two goals of the game for the Sabres, including one shorthanded.

Cozens was the sparkplug the Sabres needed in the absence of Thompson. He also was a key contributor to Zach Benson’s goal, despite not being rewarded with a point.

Cozens forced the turnover, which Jack Quinn grabbed and found Benson with an open net backdoor. It was a big goal for the Sabres just 15 seconds after the Lightning made it 3-2 in the third period.

Performances like this should come more frequently next season as Cozens grows into a more complete second-line center.

Eric Comrie

Coming into the game against the Lightning, Eric Comrie played only two games for the Sabres in 2024 – one on February 15th and one on March 7th.

His third game this calendar year was strong, as Comrie stopped 31 of 33 shots to earn the victory. The 28-year-old netminder is an unrestricted free agent come July 1st and unlikely to return to the club.

His time in Buffalo will be remembered as him being an outstanding teammate and an overall nice guy, despite the lack of overall success on the ice.