Garon made his third straight start after registering his 20th career shutout Saturday. He tightened up after allowing two goals on Buffalo's first three shots, giving Tampa Bay a chance to erase an early two-goal deficit and win its third straight.
Ryan Miller, making his fourth consecutive start, finished with 19 saves for Buffalo.
Up 3-2 after two periods, Malone pushed the lead to 4-2 with a breakaway goal with 1:23 to go in regulation, but Gerbe cut it to one goal just 33 seconds later to cap the scoring.
With the score tied 2-2 after one period, Stamkos made it 3-2 when he re-directed a shot from the point through Miller's legs.
Buffalo struck first with a pair of goals just 25 seconds apart early in the first period. Vanek got his seventh after stealing the puck from Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer at the blue line, then going in and slipping the puck between Garon's legs.
Boyes made it 2-0 2:31 into the opening period when he put a backhand in from the slot.
The Lightning tied it later in the first on goals by Lecavalier and Thompson. Lecavalier wristed a shot past Miller in the slot to close the gap to 2-1, and Thompson's feed to the front of the net from behind the goal line went in off Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's skate to tie it with 60 seconds left.
NOTES: The game marked the start of a season-high five-game homestand for the Sabres. They'll also have a five-game home stretch in December. ... Boyes played in his 500th consecutive NHL game. It's the third-longest active streak in the league. ... Sabres LW Tyler Ennis missed his first game with an ankle injury. He's out indefinitely. ... Lecavalier and Stamkos both extended their individual points streak to four games. ... Lecavalier recorded his 800th career NHL point. ... Vanek moved into a tie with Alexander Mogilny for 10th place on the Sabres' all-time goal-scoring list with 211. ... Garon improved to 3-7-0 lifetime against Buffalo.