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Game #29 Preview & Open Thread: Buffalo at Arizona

Nov 8, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Nick Bjugstad (17) carries the puck as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power (25) defends during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Arizona Coyotes (13-11-2) vs Buffalo Sabres (11-14-3)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | Mullett Arena | Tempe, AZ


Radio: WGR-550

Know Your Opponent

Arizona Coyotes

Record: 13-11-2

Last Game: lost 5-3 to Boston Bruins

Division Ranking: 5th, Central Division

PP: 7th, 24.4%

PK: 14th, 80.7%

What to Watch

1. How’s Your Rebuild Going?

Would you have put your money on the Coyotes on getting to the playoffs before the Sabres? Despite Arizona not being a good team for the last half a dozen years or so while Buffalo were looking to be on the cusp of something incredible, this season has gone pretty decently for the team from out in the desert. Under André Tourigny they’re batting at .500 and on track to finish with a higher points total than our boys which is pretty embarrassing when you consider the talent on the Sabres compared to what Arizona has to put on the ice.

Not only are the Sabres not looking like making the playoffs again and extending the postseason drought to some obscene number, but at this rate we’re heading for a top five pick in next year’s draft. Yay.

2. Seeing What Sticks

At this point can the Sabres leadership say they honestly know what they’re doing? Because it really looks like they’re just throwing a lot of things at the wall and (desperately) hoping something sticks. The trade for Eric Robinson was a headscratcher, considering he doesn’t really help the Sabres in any of the ways they need, and smacks of the franchise trying to find yet another cheap fix.

For tonight’s game, they’ve called up Brett Murray from Rochester and sent Isak Rosen back to the Amerks. The only reason this has happened is to add more grit to the starting lineup. So instead of playing to the Sabres strengths of playing quick hockey and getting vertical, instead we’re going to try getting into physical battles and win games that way, when the roster isn’t built to play that style of hockey. Cool cool.

3. The Damned Power Play

It feels like this is a topic that keeps coming up, and with good reason too. It was looking like the Sabres had finally got things solved in the 5-v-4 department, but they’ve been abysmal with the man advantage again. This weekend they failed to beat a mediocre Habs side because they couldn’t find a goal in nearly ten minutes of hockey with one more player on the ice than their opponents.

Including the pair of power play goals they got against the Red Wings, the Sabres have scored just twice in the last 40+ minutes of power play time, a run of seven games, and gave up two shorthanded goals as well, making the power play unit a net zero. Much like the team as a whole, really.

For more on the Coyotes, check out Five For Howling.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jeff Skinner – Casey Mittelstadt – Tage Thompson
Zach Benson – Dylan Cozens – JJ Peterka
Brett Murray – Tyson Jost – Victor Olofsson
Eric Robinson – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo


Mattias Samuelsson – Owen Power
Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju
Erik Johnson – Connor Clifton

Goaltenders: Devon Levi, Eric Comrie

Arizona Coyotes


Clayton Keller – Nick Schmaltz – Jason Zucker
Matias Maccelli – Nick Bjugstad – Lawson Crouse
Michael Carcone – Alexander Kerfoot – Mathew Dumba
Milos Kelemen – Logan Cooley – Liam O’Brien


Juuso Valimaki – Troy Stecher
J.J. Moser – Sean Durzi
Travis Dermott – Josh Brown

Goaltenders: Karel Vejmelka, Connor Ingram