The Tampa Bay Lightning benched three star players during the third period of their 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon.

Forwards Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point didn't appear in the third period for Lightning, who trailed the Sabres 4-1 entering the period. The loss in Buffalo left Tampa Bay winless in four straight (0-3-1), their longest streak of the season.

"As coaches, you've got to put your team in the best position to win and 99.9% of the time those guys give us the best chance to win when they're on the ice. It just felt, in the third period, they weren't giving us the best chance to win," said coach Jon Cooper after the game, via the Lightning.