TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Dylan Cozens scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres concluded another disappointing season with a 4-2 win over the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.

Jordan Greenway and Zach Benson also scored for the Sabres, who will miss the playoffs for an NHL-record 13th consecutive season.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos reached the 40-goal mark for the seventh time in his NHL career, Erik Cernak scored midway through the third period and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves for Tampa Bay, which is assured of finishing as the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.

The Lightning, 0-2-1 in their past three games, will play either Boston or Florida in the first round of the playoffs after concluding their regular season against Toronto on Wednesday night.

“Not much to look at that was good tonight,” Stamkos said. “We’ve got one game left to just do the little things right. The stuff that we practice every day in practice. Just the nuances of the details - it wasn’t great.”

Buffalo needed just 1:26 from the opening faceoff to take a 1-0 lead when Cozens snapped the rebound of Jack Quinn’s shot past Vasilevskiy. He put the Sabres ahead 2-1 with a short-handed goal at 5:08 of the second. Cozens also had an assist.

“It was very nice to see Dylan rewarded for the work he put in,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “He competed hard tonight, he was strong on pucks, and obviously he was rewarded for it. He was a real pain in the neck for them the entire night.”

Greenway, who set up Cozens’ second goal, made it 3-1 at 16:12, helping the Sabres defeat the Lightning for the third time in their four meetings, and Benson added a third-period goal.

Buffalo goalie Eric Comrie, playing for the first time since March 7, made 31 saves. He had been 0-7-1 since winning his first start of the season on Oct. 21.

“Comms played great,” Cozens said. “I couldn’t be happier for him, to have him end his season on that note.”

Stamkos’ goal at 2:27 of the second period tied the game 1-1 and came off a pass from NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov, who earned his 99th assist and 142nd point.

Cernak’s goal at 9:39 of the third cut the margin to 3-2, but Benson scored 15 seconds later.

“At times tonight it looked like we just wanted to get out of the game instead of finishing it through,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

The Sabres haven’t made the playoffs since 2010-11, and forward Alex Tuch said the season-ending win didn't merit much celebration.

“We can take away some good things; you can feel good about this game for the next couple of days, but I don’t want guys to think about this season too much,” he said. “I want them in the back of their minds to remember how this feels, how crappy this feels to miss the playoffs just like we did last year.”


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