NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 14th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (21-16-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (23-10-7), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to bounce back from their first
loss of 2009 when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks for tonight's
interconference battle at the United Center.
The Sabres began the new year with four straight victories to tie the club's
longest winning streak of the season. However, the tear ended Saturday in
Detroit as Buffalo was handed a regulation loss in the first stop on a three-
game road trip.
Buffalo was dealt a 3-1 defeat in the Motor City, as Mikael Samuelsson scored
the game-winner with 2:34 to play to help lift the Red Wings to the decision
at Joe Louis Arena.
Derek Roy had the lone tally for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller was charged
with three goals on 48 shots in the loss.
Miller had earned the victory in each game during the four-game win streak and
was handed his first loss since losing to Washington on December 30. He is 2-0
in two lifetime outings against the Blackhawks, stopping 60-of-62 shots faced
in those tests.
Roy and teammate Thomas Vanek have each recorded at least a point in five
straight games. Roy has five goals and four assists during his streak, while
Vanek has two goals and five helpers.
The Sabres, who are 9-7-3 as the visiting team this year, will complete their
swing Thursday in Dallas. Buffalo will then return home for Saturday's meeting
with Carolina, but will then head right back out on a six-game road trip.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks ended a two-game slide their last time out, as they
defeated Nashville this past Sunday to kick off a three-game homestand.
Chicago's second straight setback came in the opener of a home-and-home series
with the Predators. After dropping Saturday's 4-1 decision in Nashville, the
Blackhawks responded with a 3-1 decision the following day in the Windy City.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 26-of-27 shots to help Chicago avoid the home-and-
home sweep Sunday at the United Center.
Dustin Byfuglien, Dave Bolland, and Martin Havlat got the goals while Havlat
added an assist. Duncan Keith registered two helpers in the win.
Chicago has a strong 13-2-4 record as the host this season and has won seven
of its last eight on home ice. The Blackhawks will cap this residency Friday
evening against the New York Rangers.
The Sabres have won three straight against the Blackhawks and have a four-game
unbeaten streak in the series as the clubs also tied in Buffalo on December
13, 2002. Buffalo has also taken two straight and four of its last five in
01/14 10:55:40 ET