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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (19-10-6) at Buffalo Sabres (9-24-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to cap a four-game road trip with consecutive wins when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for Monday's clash at First Niagara Center.

The Coyotes had dropped the first two tests of this swing to bring their overall losing streak to three games. Phoenix ended the slide, however, with Saturday's 4-3 overtime win at Ottawa.

Phoenix rallied for the OT victory against the Senators, overcoming deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to send the game to the extra session. Antoine Vermette, who tied the game at 3-3 late in the third period before winning it in overtime, recorded his second career hat trick in the win.

Vermette notched a power-play goal to even the score with 2:13 remaining in regulation and then finished off his hat trick with 2:37 left in OT. Following a left-circle faceoff win, Derek Morris received the puck at the point and put a shot on net which Craig Anderson stopped, but the rebound popped out to Vermette and he slid the puck home to end the contest.

"You can argue he's our most valuable player," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "A workhorse and guy we can rely on in all situations."

Vermette now has 12 goals on the season, tying him with captain Shane Doan for the team lead. Doan hasn't played since Dec. 4 due to an illness and is expected to miss an eighth straight game tonight.

Radim Vrbata netted the other score on Saturday for the Coyotes and Mikkel Boedker added two assists. Mike Smith stopped 37 shots to record the win.

Phoenix is 9-7-4 on the road this season. The club will play seven of its next eight games at home, a stretch that begins Friday against San Jose.

The Sabres had won two straight before losing the finale of a home-and-home series in Boston. Buffalo downed a visiting Bruins team 4-2 on Thursday before losing a 4-1 decision Saturday in Beantown.

David Krejci recorded a goal and an assist to help the Bruins avoid a home- and-home sweep at the hands of the Sabres, who are last in the NHL with just 21 points on the season.

Zemgus Girgensons netted the lone Buffalo goal, while Jhonas Enroth yielded three goals on 38 shots in the setback.

"I thought we made some really bad decisions at some wrong times," said Buffalo interim head coach Ted Nolan.

Cody Hodgson missed Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and the Sabres leading scorer is questionable for tonight. He is pacing Buffalo in both goals (8) and assists (11) this season.

Ryan Miller expects to get the call in net on Monday for the Sabres and he is 4-0 with a 0.99 goals against average in four career outings against Phoenix. Smith is 4-3-1 with a 2.82 GAA in his career versus the Sabres.

This evening's matchup is the first meeting between the Coyotes and Sabres since Phoenix notched a 4-2 win in Buffalo on Nov. 19, 2011. That win halted a five-game skid in the series for the Coyotes and it was also Phoenix's sixth victory in its last eight trips to Western New York.

12/23 10:47:36 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh33rd Prd 18:27 | Box
Columbus2@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, ROOT, FSN-OH
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Pittsburgh leads series, 2-1.
Anaheim22nd Prd 19:36 | Box
Dallas0@theRink | TV: CNBC, TSN, RDS2, FSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Anaheim leads series, 2-1.
St. Louis 4/23 9:30 PM ET
Chicago @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-MW, CSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. St. Louis leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
4th
MIA 81
CHA 75
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
6th
PIT 2
CIN 4
 
7th
CLE 3
KAN 3
 
7th
WAS 1
ANA 2
 
6th
TOR 7
BAL 9
 
7th
DET 4
CWS 2
 
5th
TAM 2
MIN 4
 
5th
BOS 4
NYY 0
 
6th
NYM 3
STL 1
 
4th
MIL 4
SDP 1
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
4th
MIA 81
CHA 75
 
2nd
SAN 39
DAL 51
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
3rd
CLB 2
PIT 3
 
2nd
DAL 0
ANA 2
 
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1