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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 31st (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (25-19-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (24-21-5), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will continue their longest road trip of the season tonight when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes for an interconference battle at Jobing.com Arena.

The Sabres are 2-2-0 so far on a six-game swing that is scheduled to end Monday night in Anaheim. Buffalo has a 12-10-3 record as the visiting team this year and after playing the Ducks will return for a two-game homestand in western New York.

Buffalo's trip began before the All-Star break, but the Sabres came out firing after the hiatus as they pounded Edmonton, 10-2, on Tuesday. The Oilers tied a franchise record for most goals allowed on home ice and set a new club record for largest margin of defeat.

However, the Sabres followed up that offensive explosion by dropping a 5-2 decision the following night in Calgary. Michael Cammalleri picked up a hat trick to lead the Flames to the victory at the Saddledome.

Tim Connolly registered a goal and an assist for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller was beaten five times on 43 shots. Thomas Vanek added an assist and now has two goals and six helpers over a five-game point streak.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes have lost two straight and three of their last four games. Phoenix is 0-2 since the break, having dropped a 7-3 home decision to Anaheim on Tuesday before getting shut out two days later in San Jose.

Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves for his second shutout in as many games, as the Sharks blanked the Coyotes, 2-0, at HP Pavilion.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 27-of-28 shots for Phoenix, but was dealt the tough loss as the Coyotes were shut out for the third time this month and the sixth time this season.

The Coyotes had won three straight home games until the blowout loss to Anaheim earlier this week. Phoenix has a solid 16-7-2 record as the host this year.

Phoenix has won three straight and four of its last five encounters with the Sabres and Buffalo was handed setbacks in four of the previous six meetings in the desert.

01/31 10:54:45 ET


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