Buffalo then broke the game open with a pair of power-play goals during a 5-minute advantage. Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier was assessed a major penalty -- along with an automatic ejection -- for spearing Tim Kennedy. Roy and Hecht scored 50 seconds apart to put the Sabres up 3-0.
Niittymaki was then pulled, having given up three goals on six shots in the first 8:52. His replacement, Mike Smith, made 16 saves.
"We didn't come ready to play," Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said. "From the get-go, you could tell we were just trying to feel our way instead of initiating and dictating. Next thing you know it's 3-0 and they're a tough team to come back against."
In the second period, Pominville redirected a pass at the corner of the goal mouth seven minutes in. Roy notched his second of the night on a backhand flip less than 3 minutes later. Mair then scored with 8:44 left, duplicating Pominville's positioning and tapping in an easy goal.
Steve Downie scored for Tampa Bay, spoiling Lalime's shutout bid with 43 seconds left in the middle period.
Roy completed his hat trick with a power-play goal 6 minutes into the third. He connected on a slap shot from between the circles.
"It's an embarrassing loss," said Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet, whose team has lost six of eight and fell eight points behind the postseason cutoff in the Eastern Conference. "We're in high critical games. You've got to backcheck like it's the last shift of the season. Our defense has to box out like it's the last game of the season. It's embarrassing some guys packed it in."
Rookie Tyler Ennis, who scored in his only other NHL game Nov. 14 at Philadelphia, had two assists.
Buffalo played without C Tim Connolly and RW Patrick Kaleta. Connolly injured his foot about a week ago and it flared up. Kaleta has an upper body injury. ... Pominville, with a goal and two assists, surpassed the 300-point milestone for his career. ... The Lightning recalled D Vladimir Mihalik from AHL Norfolk, and he made his season debut. He played in 11 NHL games last season.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: First Niagara Center Location: Buffalo, New York
Referees: Kevin Pollock, Steve Kozari Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Scott Driscoll
Attendance: 18,690 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Paul Gaustad (11)
Assists: Craig Rivet, Mike Grier
Derek Roy (20)
(Power Play) Assists: Tyler Ennis, Jason Pominville
Jochen Hecht (20)
(Power Play) Assists: Tyler Myers, Chris Butler
Jason Pominville (23)
Assists: Henrik Tallinder, Derek Roy
Derek Roy (21)
Assists: Tim Kennedy, Thomas Vanek
Adam Mair (5)
Assists: Tyler Ennis, Matt Ellis
Steve Downie (21)
Assist: Mike Lundin
Derek Roy (22)
(Power Play) Assist: Jason Pominville