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Preview: Buffalo Rolls Into Arizona, Looking Stop Skid

Game 65

Buffalo Sabres (29-27-8) vs. Arizona Coyotes (31-27-8)

Puck Drop: 8:00 PM EST | Gila River Arena | Glendale, Arizona


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Coyotes Blog: Five For Howling

Know Your Opponent

Arizona Coyotes

Record: 31-27-8 | 70 PTS

Last 10: 4-5-1

Division Ranking: 5th in Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 11th in Western Conference

PP: 19th (19.6%)

PK: 6th (82.8%)

What to Watch

1. Goals are Hard to Come By

One thing to watch tonight – the Arizona Coyotes and their ability to suppress their opponent’s ability to score goals.

Arizona is tied for fifth-best in the league, having only allowed 172 goals this season.

On the flip side, the Buffalo Sabres are 11th in the NHL with 2.89 goal scored per game.

It certainly seems like the Coyotes strength their defense, while Buffalo has struggled at times to score goals – seems like a sure recipe for disaster.

2. New Kid on the Block

Newly acquired forward Dominik Kahun made his Buffalo Sabres debut on Saturday night and he did it in style.

A little over two minutes into the game, Kahun made his presence felt with his 11th goal of the season and his first as a member of the Buffalo Sabres organization.

This stretch run toward the end of the season can most certainly help the team figure players out. If Kahun can hit the ground running with his new linemates, that will be great news for the Buffalo Sabres both now and in the future.

3. Playoffs in Doubt

The Buffalo Sabres found themselves completing a few moves at the trade deadline, in hopes of turning this roster around.

Heading into this Western Conference road trip, Buffalo’s hopes for a potential run to the Stanley Cup playoffs was on life support but mathematically still existed.

With two straight losses to start off this road trip, those playoff dreams are closer and closer to being dashed.

Buffalo needs a win bad against Arizona on Saturday night.

Projected Lineup

Buffalo Sabres


Victor Olofsson – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner – Curtis Lazar – Wayne Simmonds

Dominik Kahun – Marcus Johansson – Jimmy Vesey

Zemgus Girgensons – Johan Larsson – Kyle Okposo


Brandon Montour – Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe – Henri Jokiharju

Rasmus Dahlin – Colin Miller

Starting Goaltender: Jonas Johansson (expected)

Arizona Coyotes


Taylor Hall – Christian Dvorak – Nick Schmaltz

Conor Garland – Barrett Hayton – Phil Kessel

Lawson Crouse – Derek Stepan – Clayton Keller

Carl Soderberg – Brad Richardson – Vinnie Hinostroza


Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Ilya Lyubushkin

Jordan Oesterle – Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jason Demers – Alex Goligoski

Starting Goaltender: Antti Raanta (projected)