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Friday, January 5th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (17-15-6) at Buffalo Sabres (29-8-3), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres will try to rebound from a rare loss tonight, when they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to HSBC Arena.

The Sabres went into Wednesday's game in Ottawa on a four-game winning streak, but were handed a 6-3 setback by the Senators. Dany Heatley notched his sixth career hat trick and added an assist to lift Ottawa at Scotiabank Place.

Maxim Afinogenov, Paul Gaustad and Jason Pominville each scored a goal for the Sabres. Ryan Miller was shelled for six goals on 36 shots in the loss.

The Sabres have dropped back-to-back games just once this season, when they lost to Ottawa and Montreal from December 16-19.

The Penguins, meanwhile, have won two straight contests on the heels of a five-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh's most recent triumph came Tuesday evening against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots to post his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career as the Penguins blanked the defending Stanley Cup champs, 3-0, at Mellon Arena.

Sidney Crosby recorded two goals and an assist for Pittsburgh. Mark Recchi pitched in with a pair of helpers and Ryan Whitney picked up his sixth goal of the year.

Crosby leads the NHL in points (61) and assists (42) and has registered six points (2 goals, 4 assists) over his last two games.

The Sabres beat the Pens, 4-2, in Buffalo on November 17 in the only meeting between the clubs this year. The Sabres have won five straight encounters with Pittsburgh and are 6-0-1 (1 tie) in the last seven matchups.

01/05 10:40:30 ET

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