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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, January 7th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (18-16-9) at Buffalo Sabres (12-26-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The streaking Carolina Hurricanes will take aim at a fifth straight victory when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for Tuesday's clash at First Niagara Center.

The Hurricanes have won four in a row to post their longest winning streak of the season, but Carolina hasn't won five straight tilts since a seven-game winning streak from Feb. 5-March 4, 2010.

Each of Carolina's wins during its current hot streak have come by one-goal margins, including Sunday's 2-1 home decision against the Nashville Predators. Jeff Skinner once again played a major role in the outcome, as he scored the game-winner with 3:31 remaining in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to the close win at PNC Arena.

Skinner, who assisted on Carolina's other goal on Sunday, recently was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending Jan. 5. He led all NHLers during that time period with six goals and nine points over four games. Skinner has 20 goals and 33 points in 32 games this season.

Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist on Sunday, while Tuomo Ruutu chipped in with a pair of helpers. Anton Khudobin made 31 saves in the win to earn the victory.

"The guys we needed to score for us in a grinding type game came through for us," said Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.

Carolina is 9-8-4 as the road club this season, but can pick up a third straight win as the guest tonight. The Hurricanes are 3-0-1 in their last four trips to Buffalo and have taken three straight and four of five overall in this series.

Buffalo, which is still last in the NHL with 28 points, was able to halt a two-game slide in its last outing, edging the visiting New Jersey Devils in a 2-1 decision on Saturday. Matt D'Agostini scored the winner in the third period as Buffalo picked up a fourth straight home victory.

The Sabres are 9-12-2 as the host this season compared to a dreadful 3-14-2 mark on the road.

Matt Moulson had the other goal on Saturday, while Ryan Miller made 21 saves for the win.

The decisive goal came on the power play as Dainius Zubrus was in the box for interference. Steve Ott took a pass in the deep right boards and tried to wrap it in. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider made the initial save, but the rebound kicked out front and D'Agostini slammed it home with 8:11 to play.

It was the first goal of the season for the winger in his 24th game.

"It was good. I've been getting the chances, just not capitalizing on them," said D'Agostini, who was traded from Pittsburgh to Buffalo earlier this season. "I was trying not to let that wear on me too much and just keep playing my game, but it was good to get one to fall tonight."

The Sabres are playing the middle portion of a three-game homestand on Tuesday and will complete the residency Thursday versus Florida.

01/07 10:36:33 ET

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