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Preview: Sabres start west coast swing against Coyotes

Buffalo needs to set the tone with a win against a weak opponent

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game 5

Buffalo Sabres (2-2-0) vs Arizona Coyotes (1-2-0)

Puck Drop: 9:00 PM | Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Coyotes Blog: Five for Howling

Know Your Opponent

Arizona Coyotes

Record: (1-2-0) | 3 PTS

Last 10: 1-2-0

Division Ranking: 6th in the Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 13th in the Western Conference

PP: 21st (11.1%)

PK: 7th (91.7%)

What to Watch

1. Could Ullmark get the start?

Young goaltender Linus Ullmark has been waiting in the wings while Carter Hutton has played solidly for the Sabres through four games. Given that this tilt with Arizona is among the weaker opponents the Sabres will face out west, it makes sense for Ullmark to get the start.

2. Zemgus (hah-hah) Girgensooooons

If Girgensons is going to remain a constant in the lineup, he’s going to have to prove once-and-for-all that he stands out from Johan Larsson - from an advanced statistics standpoint, they are almost identical players.

3. Set the tone

Buffalo has a tendency for slow starts, and they can’t afford one in this matchup. It is important not only to set the tone early in the game, but also to build momentum for the remaining five matchups in the western swing.

Buffalo Sabres


Conor Sheary - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Johan Larsson - Patrik Berglund - Tage Thompson

Zemgus Girgensons - Evan Rodrigues - Jason Pominville


Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Dahlin

Nathan Beaulieu - Casey Nelson

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

Arizona Coyotes


Richard Panik - Derek Stepan - Vinnie Hinostroza

Brendan Perlini - Clayton Keller - Christian Fischer

Michael Grabner - Brad Richardson - Nick Cousins

Lawson Crouse - Dylan Strome - Mario Kempe


Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers

Kevin Connauton - Niklas Hialmarsson

Alex Goligoski - Ilya Lyubushkin

Starting Goaltender: Antti Raanta