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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 3rd (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (50-21-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (45-23-11), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of playoff-bound teams get together tonight in the Steel City, as the Pittsburgh Penguins welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Mellon Arena.

The Sabres are first in the Eastern Conference with 107 points and can clinch the top seed in the upcoming playoffs with a victory tonight.

Meanwhile, the Penguins are fifth in the East with 101 points, but are also just one point behind New Jersey for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins and Devils each have three games left on their schedules. New Jersey is hosting the Ottawa Senators this evening.

Buffalo is coming off Saturday's loss in Montreal. Saku Koivu scored early in the third period to give the Canadiens a two-goal lead, and Montreal survived a late score by the Sabres' Dainius Zubrus to hold on for the 4-3 win.

Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek also scored in the loss, while Ty Conklin stopped 15 shots for Buffalo. The Sabres had won four of their last five games coming in.

Three of Buffalo's four games left in the regular season are on the road, where the club is 23-11-4 this year.

The Penguins were on a four-game winning streak before getting dealt an overtime loss Saturday's in Toronto. Tomas Kaberle scored two goals -- including the game-winner with 1:05 left in overtime -- and the Maple Leafs blew a three-goal lead before rallying for the 5-4 victory at Air Canada Centre.

Pittsburgh's Ryan Whitney forced the extra session when he scored with just four seconds remaining in regulation. Gary Roberts, Maxime Talbot and Sidney Crosby also had goals for the Penguins.

The Penguins are an impressive 25-9-5 as the host team this year and will play two of their final three regular-season games at the Igloo.

Pittsburgh has taken two of three from the Sabres this year, but Buffalo is 6-2-1 (1 tie) in the last nine meetings between the clubs.

04/03 10:46:57 ET


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