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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, January 17th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (21-19-5) at Buffalo Sabres (22-17-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for tonight's encounter at HSBC Arena.

The Hurricanes have lost four straight contests and are in danger of dropping five straight for the first time since December 5-15, 2006.

All four of the losses on the current slide have come in regulation and Carolina has been outscored by a combined 20-8 margin during the skid. The skid has been costly, as the Hurricanes are now tied with the Florida Panthers for second place in the Southeast Division with 47 points each.

The Hurricanes were last in action on Thursday and were dealt a tough loss by the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Carolina came back from 4-0 deficit to tie the game, but Toronto scored the final two goals of the game to win by a 6-4 margin.

Jason Blake recorded his first hat trick of the season and Tomas Kaberle netted a power-play goal late in regulation to lift the Maple Leafs to the win.

Matt Cullen, Tuomo Ruutu, Eric Staal and Scott Walker tallied for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward surrendered five goals on just 23 shots in the losing effort.

Tonight marks the opener of a four-game road trip for the Hurricanes, who are 9-9-4 as the visiting team and have dropped seven of their last 10 games away from Raleigh.

Meanwhile, the Sabres were able to end a two-game slide their last time out, picking up a close victory in Dallas on Thursday. Jason Pominville tallied in the sixth round of the shootout, and Buffalo rallied from a three-goal deficit to top the Stars, 5-4, at American Airlines Center.

The first four rounds of the shootout proved fruitless for both teams, and both teams scored in the fifth round: Dallas' Jere Lehtinen put a wrist shot over Ryan Miller's left shoulder, and Buffalo's Derek Roy scored on a nifty backhand move that forced Marty Turco to the ground.

The Stars' Mark Parrish was denied on a backhand shot to start the sixth round, and Pominville ended the game with a quick wrist shot over Turco's left shoulder.

Paul Gaustad scored twice, while Jochen Hecht and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Sabres, who have won five of seven overall. Miller made 21 saves to take the win.

Tonight's test is Buffalo's last home game of the month, as the club will kick off a six-game road trip Monday at Florida. The Sabres, who will next host a game on February 4 against Toronto, are 12-9-2 on home ice this season.

This is the first of four meetings between Carolina and the Sabres this year after the clubs split the season series a year ago. Buffalo has taken two of three and seven of nine from the Hurricanes and Carolina has lost four in a row and six of its last eight stops in western New York.

01/17 10:20:21 ET

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