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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 30th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (21-25-5-1) at New York Rangers (19-21-7-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres seek their third consecutive win tonight when they visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for the opener of a home-and-home.

Buffalo has defeated Carolina and Montreal during the spurt, and is 3-1 in the past four games overall. On Tuesday, Martin Biron turned aside 29 shots and the Sabres received three third-period goals for a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens at HSBC Arena.

Biron made 23 of his saves over the last two periods, while Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik and Chris Drury all tallied in the final 20 minutes for the win.

Alexei Zhitnik added a goal for the Sabres, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since December 31 - January 2. The Sabres hadn't won consecutive games since beating Washington on New Year's Eve and besting Anaheim two days later.

Biron, who has been the topic of recent trade rumors, has started in each of the last three Sabres' victories, allowing a total of five goals in that time.

Buffalo, only 2-6-1 in its last nine road games, will host the Blueshirts on Saturday to conclude the current set.

New York, meanwhile, ended a four-game losing slide with a win over Florida on Monday, but fell right back down with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of visiting Washington on Wednesday. Olaf Kolzig made 32 saves, including 19 in the third period, as the Capitals spoiled Jaromir Jagr's first game against his former team.

Jagr was traded to New York a week ago for winger Anson Carter. In three games since the trade, the Rangers and Capitals are both 1-2-0.

Jussi Markkanen stopped 22 shots for the Rangers, while Martin Rucinsky scored the lone goal for New York. The Rangers fell to 1-3-1 in their last five home contests.

New York played the third period without center Eric Lindros, who suffered another concussion. Washington defenseman Jason Doig nailed Lindros along the boards in the neutral zone in the second period, and No. 88 did not return to the match

Lindros was examined by concussion specialist Dr. Karen Johnston in Montreal Thursday, but the Rangers did not provide any specific report on his condition. This is the eighth concussion of the star centerman's injury- plagued career.

The Rangers defeated the Sabres, 3-1, in Buffalo on December 12 and are 5-2-2 in the last nine meetings. The Sabres have dropped three of their last four at MSG.

01/30 10:21:46 ET

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