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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 9th (All times eastern)

New York Rangers (24-15-3) at Buffalo Sabres (20-15-5), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they welcome the struggling New York Rangers for this evening's matchup at HSBC Arena.

The Sabres have won three straight and can match a season-high win streak that came with victories in the first four games of the season from October 10-17. Buffalo is undefeated since the calendar changed to 2009, as the club's last loss came on December 30 against visiting Washington.

Buffalo earned its latest victory in Tuesday's home meetings with Ottawa. Matt Ellis and Drew Stafford were among four different goal scorers, as the Sabres defeated the Senators, 4-2.

Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek also registered a goal for the Sabres. Vanek, who was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday, is leading the Sabres with 27 goals, which also ties him with Philadelphia's Jeff Carter and Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.

Ryan Miller made 31 saves in the win and improved to 18-10-4 on the season.

The Sabres are 11-9-2 as the host this year and are completing a brief two- game homestand tonight. Buffalo has won two of its last three home tests after losing three of its previous four contests in western New York.

The Rangers come into tonight's test having lost two of three and five of their last seven games. New York has dropped out of first place in the Atlantic Division and now trails Philadelphia by two points for the lead.

After blanking visiting Pittsburgh, 4-0, on Monday, the Blueshirts were handled Wednesday night by Montreal. Robert Lang registered his second career hat trick, as the Canadiens doubled up the Rangers, 6-3, at Madison Square Garden.

Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and Michal Rozsival each had a goal for the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped just 19 shots in defeat after picking up his first shutout of the season Monday against the Penguins. Lundqvist led the NHL with 10 shutouts in 2007-08.

Tonight, the Rangers are kicking off a five-game road trip, the club's longest trek of the season. New York is 10-7-1 as the visiting team this year and has lost two straight and three of its last five away from the Big Apple.

Buffalo posted a 3-1 decision at the Garden on October 15 in the first of four meetings between the clubs this year. That victory ended a four-game losing streak in the series for the Sabres and though the Blueshirts have won two straight in western New York, they have still lost four of their last seven there.

01/09 10:41:14 ET


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