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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, January 10th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (30-9-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (17-20-5), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to cap a three-game homestand on a positive note, as they open the doors of the United Center for tonight's match against the Buffalo Sabres.

Chicago has dropped three straight contests and the last two setbacks have come in the Windy City. The Blackhawks were downed by Phoenix on Sunday, as Jeremy Roenick scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Coyotes to a 4-2 win.

Patrick Sharp and Peter Bondra accounted for the Blackhawks goals, who have lost five of their last six contests.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped only 13-of-17 shots for Chicago, which dropped to 10-10-1 as the host this year.

The Sabres, who lead the Eastern Conference with 63 points, ended a two-game skid with a victory Saturday in Toronto. Chris Drury and Ales Kotalik each scored a goal and notched an assist as Buffalo edged the Maple Leafs, 4-3, at Air Canada Centre.

Dmitri Kalinin and Daniel Briere also tallied for the Sabres, who won for the fifth time in their last seven contests.

Martin Biron turned aside 32 shots, including 16 in the first period, and earned his ninth win of the campaign.

The starters for the NHL All-Star Game were announced Tuesday and the Sabres had three players on the Eastern Conference squad. Daniel Briere will start as a forward, Brian Campbell will be on defense and Ryan Miller will be the starting goaltender.

The Sabres are 16-4-1 as the road team this year and will complete a brief two-game trip tonight.

Tonight's game is the first between the Sabres and Blackhawks since December 3, 2003, when Buffalo posted a 3-2 win in Chicago. Buffalo is 5-2-1 (1 tie) in the last eight meetings with the Blackhawks and taken three of the last five tests at the United Center.

01/10 10:35:42 ET

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