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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 18th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (23-20-4) at Buffalo Sabres (13-27-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets will try to match the longest winning streak in franchise history when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for Saturday's battle at First Niagara Center.

Columbus picked up its fifth straight victory on Friday, slamming the visiting Washington Capitals by a 5-1 score. The easy regulation win moved the Blue Jackets, who have also won six of six seven games, within two points of the Caps for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cam Atkinson tallied twice and Jack Johnson added two assists to lead Columbus to Friday's rout. Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski and Mark Letestu also found the back of the net for the Blue Jackets, while Sergei Bobrovsky was solid in goal, making 26 saves.

"When we're at our best all four lines are buzzing and creating chances," said Atkinson. "Our power play was hot. (Bobrovsky) was good for us. Our (penalty kill) was strong. If you win the special teams, you're more likely going to win the game."

Another win on Saturday would match a franchise record for consecutive wins. The Blue Jackets won six straight from March 24-April 3, 2006.

Columbus is on the road for just one game before returning to Nationwide Arena for a three-game homestand. The home stretch begins Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blue Jackets have won their last two on the road and are 11-11-2 as the guest this season.

The Sabres, meanwhile, lost for the fifth time in seven games on Wednesday after dropping a 4-3 shootout decision in Toronto. Buffalo's Cody Hodgson scored 43 seconds into the third period to knot the game at 3-3, but the Maple Leafs scored on all three of their shootout attempts to gain the extra point.

Matt Moulson and Matt Ellis joined Hodgson with a goal apiece for Buffalo, which has lost two straight and is still in last place in the NHL standings. Ryan Miller made 36 saves through regulation and overtime, but James Van Riemsdyk, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak all scored for Toronto in the shootout phase.

The Sabres have reached the shootout in three of their last four games and Buffalo's last five tilts have been decided by only one goal.

"Third game in four nights, on the road, being down a goal going into the third period," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "I thought our third period was our best period."

Buffalo is kicking off a three-game homestand on Saturday. The Sabres are 9-13-3 on home ice and just 4-14-3 on the road.

The Sabres lost a 4-1 home decision against Columbus on Oct. 10 and the Blue Jackets have won two straight and six of the past nine games in this series. Columbus has come out on top in three of its past five tests in Western New York.

01/18 10:42:15 ET

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Final
NCCU 108
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Final
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7:00pm Tonight
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8:00pm Tonight
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CLE 98
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MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
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SAN 116
MEM 117
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POR 104
MIL 97
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DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
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NYK
 
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NOP
 
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LANG 65
 
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Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
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MSST 55
ARKST 69
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NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
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GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
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WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
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HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
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JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
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ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
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BST 52
JMU 72
 
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YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
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UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
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OSU 97
NCAT 55
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FSU 93
UNF 77
 
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TOL 83
RMU 57
 
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CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
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DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
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NCSU 83
TENN 72
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UCF 75
DET 70
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UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
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LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
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MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
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HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
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NW 67
CMICH 80
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WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
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ODU 58
UGST 54
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SMU 67
ILLCH 46
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LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
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TULSA 74
MIZST 70
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UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
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NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
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TTU 101
SCST 39
 
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DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
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STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
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STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
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MEM 83
USCU 73
 
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ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
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GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
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STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
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CIN 71
SDST 62
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AUB 80
WINT 62
 
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NMU 76
CARK 55
 
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PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
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CPSL 60
NE 58
 
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PORT 73
Final
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WASH 86
GRAM 38
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NJD 0
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Final
MIN 2
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