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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 24th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (19-24-5-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (23-11-10-5), 1 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers try to patch together some sort of momentum today when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to the Wachovia Center.

Philly hopes to win its second straight, and fourth in the past five games. On Thursday, Simon Gagne and Sami Kapanen each had a goal and an assist, leading the Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in a battle of Atlantic- Division rivals at Madison Square Garden.

Mark Recchi and John LeClair also scored for the Flyers, who have won three of their last four games. Philadelphia, however, is just 3-5-1-1 in its last 10 contests overall.

Robert Esche made 23 saves in the win as the Flyers improved to 11-5-1 in their last 17 trips to Madison Square Garden. Esche is being given a chance to show what he can do as a regular starter with veteran Jeff Hackett currently sidelined due to vertigo.

Prior to the game, the Flyers acquired defenseman Mattias Timander from the Islanders for a seventh-round pick in the 2004 draft. Timander's acquisition was necessary because the club has lost four defensemen in the past week or so. On Tuesday, Philly plucked blueliner Danny Markov from Carolina in exchange for winger Justin Williams.

Two Flyers were named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reserves on Thursday, centers Jeremy Roenick and Keith Primeau.

Philly will open a three-game road trip Sunday in Washington.

Buffalo, meanwhile, ended a three-game losing skid with a 3-2 decision in Boston on Thursday. Miroslav Satan scored two third-period goals to lift the Sabres.

Martin Biron stopped 23 shots, while Rory Fitzpatrick added the other goal for Buffalo, which is just 3-5-2 in its last 10 games overall.

Satan ended an eight-game goal-scoring drought, but nonetheless leads the team with 17 tallies at the moment.

Biron played for the first time in five games, as he has lost the starting job to Mika Noronen. Biron is a prime candidate to be moved before the March 9 trade deadline, given the fact that the Sabres also have youngster Ryan Miller in the organizational goaltending plans.

The Sabres will visit Carolina on Sunday to cap off a five-game road trip.

Philadelphia is 1-1-1 against Buffalo this season, after a 2-2 mark last campaign.

01/24 10:14:49 ET

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