1. The Lightning bolted out of the lockerroom, threatening literally in the game’s opening seconds and outshooting the Sabres 5-0 in the first five minutes, and that’s all you really need to know.
2. On one of those five shots, Ryan Miller made an incredible blocker save on Vincent Lecavalier’s redirect from just above the crease, but by the final minute of the first period, he was just having an incredibly bad night.
3. Ales Kotalik tried to turn the momentum back in Buffalo’s favor with a great shift five minutes into the first period, but his penalty shortly after that led to Tampa’s first goal and left the latch open on the floodgate.
4. Kotalik played well enough (eight shots, several glorious chances) to bump Drew Stafford off the top line to start the third, one of many attempted line tweaks by Lindy Ruff that got him nowhere.
5. Olaf Kolzig was in vintage form again in Buffalo, sticking out his right leg to prevent Clarke MacArthur from scoring his second goal of the first period to tie the game at 2 and making a fantastic save on Kotalik’s redirect in the first minute of the third period to keep the Sabres from closing to within two.
6. The 1983 Oilers poured into the Buffalo zone at will all night, enjoyed an unofficial 7-1 lead in odd-man rushes (had to be more) and piled up 40 shots, 21 of them, again unofficially, scoring chances.
7. Lindy Ruff challenged Derek Roy and Jason Pominville before the game, but except for Roy momentarily catching fire after being pulled from the top line in the second period in favor of Paul Gaustad, the pair threw the red flag right back in the coach’s face.
8. When Thomas Vanek missed his second can’t-miss power play chance of the second period, he slumped his shoulders and jerked his head back, quitting on the play.
9. After the first minute of the third, the rest of the Sabres quit, too, nary a hint of a rally in a team accustomed to so many, and so did Ruff, deciding not to pull the goalie after a Tampa penalty with still almost two minutes to go.
10. On The Office, Pam is embarrassed when she is the only person at corporate wearing a costume on Halloween (saw it on nbc.com just now — do you really think I’d turn off a Sabres game?!)