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Sabres at Coyotes Preview: Tank battles, the final chapter

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The Sabres and Coyotes play one last time, which could possibly put the Sabres eight points behind Arizona.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Game #76

Buffalo Sabres (20-47-8) vs.
Arizona Coyotes (23-45-8)

Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EST | Gila River Arena  | Glendale, AZ
TV: MSG, Bell, FS-A | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Coyotes Blog: Five For Howling

Three Questions

1. Will Tyler Ennis play, and if he doesn't is there anyone else who can score?

Ted Nolan said Ennis' status for tonight is still up in the air, and whether or not he plays tonight will be decided at the morning skate. If the Sabres leading scorer doesn't play, will someone else step forward? Against Colorado the offense came from Andrej Meszaros. Who could it come from tonight?

2. Can the Sabres push Arizona even further away from 30th?

A victory for the Coyotes tonight would put them eight points ahead of the Sabres, with Buffalo having seven games left. That means the Sabres would need to earn nine more points in their last seven games, since Arizona has the tiebreakers in both regulation wins and head-to-head. A 4-2-1 record in the final seven games seems unlikely, and that's if the Coyotes don't get another point this season. If Arizona wins tonight it won't clinch a final spot for the Sabres, but it will make it very likely.

3. How many of you will be up?

It is an important game for the Sabres, but a 10:00 pm eastern start is brutal for even the most die-heart tankers. The game is somewhat oddly placed, as the Sabres usually get all the late games out of the way in one long western road trip. Following this game Buffalo flies back to Buffalo to play Toronto on Wednesday. Personally, I'm glad I'm on central time so it is at least an hour earlier.

BUF Projected Lines

Moulson - Larsson - Gionta
Foligno - Grigorenko - Dalpe
Deslauriers - Varone - Hodgson
Ellis - Schaller - Kaleta

Benoit - Bogosian
Weber - Ristolainen
Meszaros - Strachan

Goal: Anders Lindback