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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 8th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (2-0-0) at Buffalo Sabres (0-0-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The surprising Phoenix Coyotes will try for a third win in as many games when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for tonight's interconference matchup at HSBC Arena.

The Coyotes' financial problems have been well-documented and the club's ownership situation is still stuck in limbo, but that didn't stop Phoenix from improving to 2-0 on the season with Wednesday's shutout victory in Pittsburgh.

Ilya Bryzgalov posted his first shutout of the season with a 24-save performance as Phoenix posted a 3-0 decision over the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

Radim Vrbata had a goal and one assist while Ed Jovanovski and Petr Prucha lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who improved to 2-0 to start a season for the second straight year.

"We have a lot of work to do, but you like the way our team is competing," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett, who took over head coaching duties a week before the season after Wayne Gretzky resigned the post.

Tonight, Phoenix has a shot to record its first 3-0 start since taking the first three games of the 2003-04 campaign.

The Coyotes are completing a season-opening three-game road trip tonight and will return to the desert for Saturday's home opener against Columbus.

The Sabres, meanwhile, will try to post their first victory of the season when they welcome the Coyotes tonight.

Buffalo opened its 2009-10 campaign at home this past Saturday and was dealt an overtime setback by the rival Montreal Canadiens. Brian Gionta scored 2:42 into overtime as Montreal spoiled Buffalo's season and home opener with a 2-1 decision in western New York.

Tim Connolly scored the only goal for the Sabres, who are trying to avoid losing their first two games of the season for the second time in three years.

Next up for the Sabres is a stop in Nashville as Buffalo opens its road schedule against the Predators. However, the Sabres will then return to HSBC Arena for a three-game homestand.

Buffalo won both outings against the Coyotes last season and outscored Phoenix 7-1 in those contests.

10/08 10:49:31 ET


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