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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 22nd (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (17-11-4) at Buffalo Sabres (16-13-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will aim for just their third win in eight games when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for this evening's battle at HSBC Arena.

The Penguins are 2-5-0 in their last seven outings and are coming off Saturday's lopsided loss to visiting Toronto. Pittsburgh has been inconsistent and hasn't won back-to-back tests since a six-game winning streak from November 1-15

Pittsburgh has also fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 38 points. The Penguins are now seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Buffalo is ninth in the East with 36 points.

The Maple Leafs handed the Pens a 7-3 thrashing Saturday at Mellon Arena. Nik Antropov had a goal and two assists to lead Toronto to the easy win.

Petr Sykora scored twice for the Penguins in the losing effort. Sykora has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) over his last four contests. Evgeni Malkin also added a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to eight games.

Malkin is leading the NHL with 55 points on 15 goals and 40 assists.

Marc-Andre Fleury started in net, but was pulled after two periods as he gave up five goals on 33 shots. Dany Sabourin played the third period and gave up two goals on seven shots.

The Penguins have lost five of their last seven road games and are 9-6-2 as the visiting team this season.

Buffalo has lost three of its last five contests, but did earn a point its last time out. The Sabres were dealt a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday night in Montreal as Alex Kovalev scored the game-winning goal with just 25 seconds left in the extra session.

Andrej Sekera, Derek Roy and Clarke MacArthur scored for the Sabres, who had a three-game road win streak snapped. Jason Pominville picked up his 17th assist, and Ryan Miller made 42 saves in the loss.

Roy has recorded a point in nine straight contests and has five goals and eight assists in that span.

The Sabres have a 9-8-1 record at home this year and are playing three of their remaining four December games in western New York.

Buffalo has won two of three against the Penguins this season, but Pittsburgh has taken seven of 10 meetings overall in the series. The Pens have dropped five of their last eight at HSBC Arena.

12/22 10:45:01 ET

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