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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, October 28th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (6-1-1) at New Jersey Devils (6-3-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of hot clubs will meet tonight in the Garden State, as the New Jersey Devils welcome the Buffalo Sabres for an Eastern Conference showdown at Prudential Center.

The Devils come into this evening's test having won three straight and six of their last seven contests. New Jersey has been surging since getting off to a slow start with losses in its first two games of the year.

The Sabres, meanwhile, are 6-1-1 on the season and have posted victories in their last two games, both of which came on the road. Buffalo has a perfect 3-0-0 record as the guest this year and is completing a three-game road trip tonight.

Jersey recorded its most recent victory this past Saturday in Pittsburgh, as the Devils breezed past the defending Stanley Cup champions. Zach Parise, Nicklas Bergfors and Travis Zajac each had a goal and an assist to help the Devils notch a 4-1 victory at Mellon Arena.

Mark Fraser scored his first NHL goal for the Devils, who have won their first five road games of the year for the first time in club history. Martin Brodeur stopped 32-of-33 shots for New Jersey.

The win came at a cost, however, as the Devils lost a pair of key players to injuries that will keep each of them out four-to-six weeks. New Jersey's top defenseman Paul Martin suffered a broken left arm, while winger and penalty- killer Jay Pandolfo sustained a shoulder injury.

Devils defenseman Mike Mottau missed Saturday's game with a hip injury, but is expected to be in the lineup tonight.

While New Jersey is 5-0-0 as the guest this year, the club has struggled to a 1-3-0 mark on home ice. The Devils did snap a three-game home skid in their last game at the Rock, as they posted a 2-0 win over Carolina on October 17.

The Sabres are coming off a dramatic victory in their last outing on Saturday. Drew Stafford evened the game with 16.1 seconds left in regulation and rookie Tyler Myers scored the game-winner in the shootout to lift Buffalo to a 3-2 win in Tampa.

The first five shooters for each team were unsuccessful in the shootout, sending it to a sixth round. Tampa's Martin St. Louis skated in backwards and tried a backhander, but Ryan Miller made the glove save.

Myers then skated in and held the puck as he glided to the left side of the slot. Lightning goaltender Mike Smith bit, and at the last moment Myers shifted the puck around Smith and pushed it into the open net to give Buffalo the victory.

Miller finished with 24 saves, while Mike Grier also scored for the Sabres.

Stafford has recorded a point in five straight games and has three goals and two assists over that span.

Sabres defenseman Toni Lydman missed Saturday's game with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight's contest.

The Devils and Sabres split four meetings last season and New Jersey has taken five of eight and seven of the last 11 encounters between the clubs. Buffalo won both of its games in Jersey last year, but has dropped 11 of 14 overall in the Garden State.

10/28 10:33:34 ET


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