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Sabres Host the Coyotes on Tuesday Night

Buffalo Needs Bounce Back Against Arizona

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Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Ben Green/NHLI via Getty Images

Game 13

Buffalo Sabres (7-5-0) vs. Arizona Coyotes (4-6-1)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST KeyBank Center

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Coyotes Blog: Five For Howling

Know Your Opponent

Arizona Coyotes

Record: 4-6-1 11 PTS

Last Game: 3-2 Win vs. Washington Capitals

Division Ranking: 7th in the Central Division

PP: 5th (28.95%)

PK: 13th (80.95%)

What to Watch

1. Sabres Can’t Look Past the Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes are 7th in the NHL’s Central Division, but they’ve won two of their last four games, including victories over the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals. As Sion Fawkes of SabreNoise pointed out, the Coyotes can pull out a surprise win if the Sabres aren’t careful. It would be easy for Buffalo to look past Arizona to the Thursday night rematch with Vegas and Eichel, but that’s a mistake.

Losing a must-win game against the Coyotes makes beating the Golden Knights a much harder psychological hurdle. The Sabres are already reeling from back-to-back losses to the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. Buffalo needs to get back in the win column and that has to start Tuesday night.

2. Dahlin Returns to Shore Up Depleted D

The Sabres’ defense has been hit hard with injuries and that was very much in evidence during their 5-3 loss to the Lightning. Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju and Mattias Samuelsson all sat out last Saturday’s defeat in Tampa. The remaining defensemen struggled to keep pace with the Bolts’ quick, high-scoring offense.

Samuelsson is expected to be out for the rest of the month and Jokiharju is on IR until at least Nov. 10. However, Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News reported that Dahlin will play against the Coyotes in Tuesday night’s matchup. No. 26 is one of Buffalo’s top defensive assets. Having him back on the roster is a huge boost.

3. Buffalo the Best Bet to Win

Action Network has the Sabres as -1.5 spread favorites, with a 6.5 Over/Under and a -240 moneyline. Betting prognosticator Mike Fink of Winners and Whiners.com concurs with the sportsbook consensus on this game.

Fink highlights Arizona’s poor defense as a major reason Buffalo’s favored to win this contest. The Coyotes allow an average 4.09 goals per game, including nine in their last two. Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka, has struggled with a .901 SV%, and 3.72 GAA, something Buffalo’s superior offense should take advantage of at home.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Casey Mittelstadt – Tage Thompson – J.J. Peterka

Jeff Skinner – Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund – Peyton Krebs – Victor Olofsson

Jack Quinn – Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo

Defense

Jacob Bryson – Rasmus Dahlin

Kale Clague – Owen Power

Lawrence Pilut – Casey Fitzgerald

Goaltenders: Eric Comrie (expected), Craig Anderson

Arizona Coyotes

Forwards

Lawson Crouse – Nick Bjugstad – Matias Maccelli

Nick Ritchie – Jack McBain – Christian Fischer

Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayton – Dylan Guenther

Matias Maccelli – Travis Boyd – Liam O’Brien

Defense

Juuso Valimaki – J.J. Moser

Josh Brown – Shayne Gostisbehere

Troy Stecher – Patrik Nemeth

Goaltenders: Karel Vejmelka (expected), Connor Ingram