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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 9th (All times Eastern)
Florida Panthers (16-21-6) at Buffalo Sabres (12-26-4), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After having their most recent game postponed due to a blizzard, the Buffalo Sabres will get back to work on Thursday when they host the Florida Panthers at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres were set to host Carolina on Tuesday, but hazardous weather conditions in the Buffalo area led to the contest being postponed. So far, a makeup-date has not been announced.
Buffalo began what was supposed to be a three-game homestand with Saturday's 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. After snowy conditions shortened the residency, the Sabres will be back on the road when they visit Washington on Sunday.
Matt D'Agostini scored the winner in the third period for the Sabres on Saturday. Matt Moulson had the other goal while Ryan Miller made 21 saves for the Sabres, who had dropped three of four coming into the test against the Devils.
The winning goal came on the power play as Dainius Zubrus was in the box for interference. Steve Ott took a pass in the deep right boards and tried to wrap it in. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made the initial save, but the rebound kicked out front and D'Agostini slammed it home with 8:11 to play.
"It was good. I've been getting the chances, just not capitalizing on them," said D'Agostini. "I was trying not to let that wear on me too much and just keep playing my game, but it was good to get one to fall tonight."
The victory was the fifth straight on home ice for Buffalo, which is 9-12-2 as the host this season compared to an awful 3-14-2 road record.
Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers will begin a three-game suspension tonight. Myers was given the ban by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Zubrus.
The Panthers, meanwhile, have lost two of three and five of their last seven games. The club began a three-game road trip Monday in Montreal and lost a 2-1 regulation decision, as Brian Gionta scored the game-winner for the Canadiens with 4:14 left in the second period.
Aleksander Barkov, the second overall pick of the 2013 draft, assisted on Sean Bergenheim's goal to extend his point streak to six games, setting a Florida rookie record for consecutive games with a point. Barkov has one goal and six assists during the scoring streak, giving him seven goals and 22 points in 43 games this season.
Tim Thomas made 33 saves to take the tough-luck loss for the Panthers.
"We didn't look good for two periods," Florida head coach Peter Horachek said. "We had chances in the third. We have to play 60 minutes of every game."
Florida fell to 7-12-2 as the road team this season. The club will complete its current swing with Saturday's test in New Jersey.
Buffalo posted a 3-1 win at Florida on Oct. 25, but the Panthers have claimed four of the past seven encounters overall and have claimed two of the last three tilts in Western New York.
01/09 10:49:14 ET
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