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Tuesday, February 5th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (23-21-7) at Boston Bruins (27-20-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Sabres and Bruins will both be aiming for their first win in February when Buffalo visits Boston for a Northeast Division matchup at TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston and the Sabres both ended January on three-game winning streaks, but the clubs were handed defeats in their first tests of the new month. The Bruins were downed by visiting Detroit on Saturday, while Buffalo lost in Atlanta on Friday.

The Bruins have taken three of four from Buffalo this season, but the Sabres have taken five of the last nine encounters. Buffalo has dropped two straight and three of its previous four games in Beantown.

Boston's next game will be in Buffalo on Friday night, but this is not technically a home-and-home series since the Sabres will host New Jersey before meeting the Bruins again.

The Bruins were handed a 3-1 setback by the powerful Red Wings, as Pavel Datsyuk notched a goal and an assist to lift Detroit to the 3-1 triumph.

Chuck Kobasew scored the lone goal for Boston, with assists by Glen Metropolit and Milan Lucic. It marked the first time in 10 games that the Bruins were held under two goals. The last occurrence was in a shutout loss to Carolina on January 8.

Tim Thomas let in the three scores on 32 shots for the Bruins, who had won five of six entering play on Saturday.

Boston is still trying to get into the battle for first place in the Northeast Division. Ottawa leads the division and the Eastern Conference with 68 points, but Montreal is just three behind and the Bruins are in third with 59 points.

The Bruins are 14-9-3 as the host club this season and are wrapping up a brief two-game homestand tonight.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is coming off Friday's close setback in Atlanta, as Eric Perrin scored the game-winner in the shootout to lift the Thrashers to the 5-4 decision at Philips Arena.

In the fourth round of the shootout, Perrin skated in on net, sold the backhander to Jocelyn Thibault, came back to the forehand and deposited the puck into the net. Thomas Vanek had the last chance for Buffalo, but he missed the net on his shot.

Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville, Daniel Paille and Dmitri Kalinin each had a goal for the Sabres, who are fourth in the Northeast with 53 points.

Ryan Miller started in net for Buffalo and made 18 saves on 20 shots, but left after the second period with a lower body injury. He appeared to get hurt when Atlanta's Chris Thorburn fell on him late in the second. Thibault finished the game between the pipes and stopped seven shots.

Miller practiced on Monday and is expected to play in this evening's contest.

Tonight's contest marks the end of a a seven-game road trip, the longest swing of the season for Buffalo. The Sabres are 3-2-1 on the swing and 11-13-5 as the visiting club this season.

Buffalo will return home after tonight's contest and begin a three-game homestand with Wednesday's battle against New Jersey.

02/05 10:38:51 ET


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