Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 2: Sunday, February 23rd
Game 3: Sunday, March 9th
Game 4: Friday, March 14th

Lightning 4

(32-23-5, 80 pts)

Sabres 2

(21-33-7, 58 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 14, 2003

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
TB 2 1 14
BUF 1 1 02

B. Richards (Lightning - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Grahame (Lightning - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .929

J. Hecht (Sabres - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Andreychuk moves past Hull for 11th all-time

Lightning win

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Dave Andreychuk spoiled his adopted city's big day by reaching another milestone.

Dave Andreychuk

Andreychuk, who played 12 seasons with Buffalo and still has a home in the area, scored his 611th career goal and moved past Bobby Hull for 11th place on the NHL's all-time list in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 4-2 victory over the Sabres on Friday night.

Earlier in the day, billionaire B. Thomas Golisano was introduced as the Sabres' new owner, ending a tumultuous time during which the franchise was in jeopardy of moving.

"I'm really happy for the city,'' Andreychuk said. "I still have a house here and someday I'm going to be a fan here. I want to make sure that there's going to be hockey here when I'm here. It's a good sign. It can only go up from here.''

Vaclav Prospal had two goals and an assist, and Brad Richards had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which last won in Buffalo on March 11, 1999 -- a span in which the Lightning were 0-6-1. Tampa Bay is 10-2-2 in its last 14 overall and moved past Washington into first place in the Southeast Division.

Andreychuk made it 2-0 10:25 into the first when he took a pass from Prospal behind the net and fired it from the edge of the right faceoff circle inside the right post for 18th goal. Detroit's Luc Robitaille, in 10th place on the NHL's career list with 628 goals, is next up for Andreychuk.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff -- a former teammate and coach of Andreychuk -- knows his abilities all too well.

"He knows something that a lot of players can learn from: just shoot the puck at the net,'' Ruff said. "He didn't hesitate _ he just shot it from a bad angle. I've seen Andy score 100 goals like that.''

The names on the goal-scoring list he passed this season -- Jari Kurri, Dino Ciccarelli and Hull -- amazes Andreychuk.

"I guess someday it's going to sink in,'' he said.'' My goal going into this year was trying to lead this team into the playoffs.

Andreychuk, who started his NHL career during the 1982-83 season, realizes he has a new role.

"I'm not going to do the things I did when I'm 25,'' he said. "But I'm still going to try to contribute on a nightly basis.''

His new role suits Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella fine.

"It's the right time in David's career to take over a leadership role, and it's the right time for the Tampa Bay Lightning and where they need leadership,'' said Tortorella, who coached Andreychuk in Buffalo.

Taylor Pyatt and Daniel Briere, acquired from Phoenix on Tuesday, scored for Buffalo, which lost its second straight.

John Grahame stopped 26 shots for the Lightning. Mika Noronen, making his first home start since Nov. 12, stopped 29 shots.

Briere made it 2-1 9:45 in when he stole the puck from Grahame beside the net and tucked it inside the post for his 18th goal and first with Buffalo.

Martin St. Louis gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead when he deked Noronen out of the net and fed Richards, who beat the sprawling goalie for his 16th of the season.

Pyatt made it 3-2 16:48 into the second.

Prospal opened the scoring 6:23 and later added an empty-net goal for his 20th goal.

Prospal said the Sabres are in a role familiar to the Lightning.

"We should not give points away to teams (like Buffalo),'' Prospal said. "They just play like we've been doing the last few years. They try to disturb the playoff hunt and they make it interesting.

Game notes

Ruff remained tied with Scotty Bowman for most wins in Buffalo history with 210. ... Friday's game was the first Lightning game broadcast on cable in the Tampa region in 71 days. The Sunshine Network and Warner Communications reached an agreement Thursday. ... Lightning F Tim Taylor played his 500th NHL game. His brother, Sabres F Chris Taylor, played his first game for Buffalo since 2000-01. ... D Doug Janik made his NHL debut for the Sabres.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press