Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Buffalo leads 4-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 13th
Game 2: Friday, December 23rd
Game 3: Thursday, January 5th
Game 4: Thursday, March 9th

Sabres 4

(4-1-0, 8 pts)

Lightning 3

(2-2-1, 5 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 13, 2005

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 3 SO T
BUF 1 1 1 14
TB 1 2 0 03

V. Prospal (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

V. Lecavalier (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Vanek (Sabres - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Buffalo (3-1-0) at Tampa Bay (2-2-0) 7:30 pm EDT

Buffalo (3-1-0) at Tampa Bay (2-2-0), 7:30 pm EDT

TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Since starting the season in fine fashion, the Tampa Bay Lightning have hit a funk.

The Lightning will try to rediscover their offensive touch Thursday when they host the Buffalo Sabres in the finale of a three-game homestand.

After scoring three times in the opening period en route to a season-opening 5-2 win over Carolina, Tampa Bay has slowed down. The third-highest scoring club in the league last season, the Lightning have managed just four goals in a 1-2-0 stretch.

The defending Stanley Cup Champions took an early 1-0 lead before giving up four straight goals in a 4-2 loss to Boston on Monday. Tampa Bay was 0-for-6 on the power play in front of John Grahame, who stopped just 16 of 20 shots before being pulled.

Fredrik Modin and Dan Boyle both scored for the Lightning, who are one of just three Eastern Conference teams with less than 10 goals.

The Sabres, who have missed the playoffs each of the last three seasons, are off to their best start since the 1984-85 season, with all of their damage being done at home.

Buffalo improved to 3-0-0 at home with Monday's 3-2 overtime win over Pittsburgh. Jochen Hecht scored with just 20 seconds left in OT to lift the Sabres, whose only road game resulted in Saturday's 5-0 loss at Ottawa.

The strong start helped Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, the longest tenured active coach in the NHL, secure a one-year contract extension Tuesday. Ruff now is signed through the 2006-07 season.