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TONIGHT'S GAME

Who: Tampa Bay Lightning (2-2-1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (2-2-0)

When: Tonight at 7:35 p.m.

Where: Memorial Auditorium

TV/Radio: ESPN, WQYK-AM (1010)

Coaches: Tampa Bay _ Terry Crisp; Buffalo _ John Muckler

Players to watch: Tampa Bay _ right wing John Tucker, left wing Chris Kontos, left wing Mikael Andersson, defenseman Joe Reekie, goaltender Pat Jablonski. Buffalo _ center Pat Lafontaine, left wing Dave Andreychuk, left wing Viktor Gordijuk, defenseman Richard Smehlik and goaltender Dominik Hasek.

What to expect: The Sabres are an attacking team, especially when the first line of right wing Alexander Mogilny, Lafontaine and Andreychuk is on the ice. But Mogilny, who had three goals in Buffalo's season opener, sustained a shoulder strain Saturday against Hartford and will be out another few days. Buffalo, known as a one-line team last season, has beefed up its offense with entry draft pick Yuri Khmylev, of the former Soviet Union, who adds spark to the second line. And the addition of center Bob Sweeney, whom the Sabres picked up in the waiver draft two weeks ago, has made the third line more productive. Injuries have plagued the Sabres. In addition to Mogilny, high-scoring Donald Audette had major knee surgery over the summer and is out until December. But the hardest-hit area has been defense. The Sabres are missing their two best defensemen _ Mike Ramsey (out until November because of off-season shoulder surgery) and Ken Sutton (broken left foot at the end of training camp). The Lightning might be able to capitalize on breakouts. Hasek has played just 26 NHL games in goal. It will be important for Tampa Bay to stay out of the penalty box. Buffalo, led by Lafontaine, had the best power-play percentage in the NHL last season at 22.5 (105-of-466).

_ CAMMY CLARK

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