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Preview: Panthers at Sabres

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 20 2014 10:25:35 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 20 2014 10:25:35 PM CST

The Buffalo Sabres seek to halt a three-game winless drought when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday in a matchup of teams with the fewest wins in the Eastern Conference. It marks the second time in 13 days that the Sabres will host Florida, which halted Buffalo's season-high five-game home winning streak with a 2-1 shootout victory on Jan. 9. That setback was the first of five consecutive one-goal decisions for the Sabres, who are 1-1-3 in that span with four games going past regulation.The Panthers may have the second-lowest win total in the East but they have flexed their muscles when squaring off against the conference's best team. Florida snapped Pittsburgh's franchise-record 13-game winning streak with a decisive 5-1 victory on Monday night - its second lopsided win over the Penguins this season. Drew Shore score twice to spark the Panthers' five-goal outburst against Pittsburgh, which matched the number of tallies combined in Florida's previous four road games this month.TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, MSG (Buffalo)ABOUT THE PANTHERS (19-23-7): A second-round pick of Florida in 2009, Shore had scored only four goals in 54 career games, including one in 11 contests this season before notching his first career multiple-goal game. Forward Jesse Winchester made a triumphant return to the lineup after missing 14 games with a broken hand, collecting a career-high three assists, while Jonathan Huberdeau scored to halt a 16-game goalless drought. The Panthers stymied Pittsburgh's top-ranked power play on all three chances and have killed off 28 consecutive short-handed situations.ABOUT THE SABRES (13-27-7): Acquired from Edmonton a month ago, Linus Omark has one assist in nine games and was a healthy scratch the past two contests, but he skated on the second line at Monday's practice. If Omark receives more playing time, it will likely come at the expense of underachieving Ville Leino, who has been held off the scoresheet the past eight games and also is without a goal. "We're looking for people that want to compete and want to work," interim coach Ted Nolan said. "So we have to get (Leino) competing at a certain level and some days he shows it and some days he doesn't."OVERTIME1. Panthers G Tim Thomas is expected back in net after missing Monday's game with the flu.2. Buffalo has scored at least three goals in three straight games for the first time this season but failed to pick up a win.3. Florida has failed to score on the power play in 35 straight chances.PREDICTION: Sabres 3, Panthers 2