JETS (5-8-1) at SABRES (6-9-1)
TV: TSN-JETS, MSG-B
Last 10: Winnipeg 3-7-0; Buffalo 4-6-0
Season series: First of three meetings. Thomas Vanek's overtime goal gave the Sabres a wild 6-5 win in their first matchup last season, but the Jets responded by taking the next three.
Big story: Neither team is trending in the right direction at the moment. Winnipeg has lost three in a row, while Buffalo has dropped three of four.
Jets: This is the start of a five-game road trip for Winnipeg. That might not be such a bad thing after the Jets completed a three-game homestand with only five goals scored and not a single win in the books against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Boston. They were all close games, but again on Sunday the Jets couldn't pull it out as Brad Marchand's power-play goal in the opening minute of the third period was the difference in a 3-2 defeat. Evander Kane had put the Jets ahead 2-1 with 26.3 seconds left in the second, but they yielded Daniel Paille's tying goal just 1.5 seconds before the intermission.
"We have to start winning on the road," goalie Ondrej Pavelec said. "We lost a couple games at home in our building where we felt comfortable, so now we have to start winning on the road. I don't want to say this is the most important road trip of the season, but the next five or six games are going to be huge. If we don't play well on the road, we could be in big trouble."
Sabres: Playing in front of a national-TV audience on Hockey Day In America, the biggest U.S. hero from its Olympic run in 2010, goalie Ryan Miller, had Buffalo poised to deliver a key win Sunday afternoon against Pittsburgh and his personal nemesis from those Vancouver Games, Sidney Crosby. The Sabres rallied from a quick 2-0 deficit and went ahead 3-2 in the third on a Steve Ott goal, but the Penguins drew even and with 2:04 to play in regulation Crosby provided the screen as a Paul Martin shot from the point eluded Miller and dealt Buffalo a difficult 4-3 loss.
"We've got to learn how to bury teams when we have the chance," Cody Hodgson, who scored in the first period, told the Buffalo News. "We went up a goal, had momentum again. We were rolling there for a little while, and it's just too bad how it worked out."
Who's hot: Kane has a goal and two assists during a three-game points streak for the Jets. Alexander Burmistrov had a goal and an assist Sunday. … Vanek snapped a three-game drought with his NHL-leading 12th goal for the Sabres. Hodgson has goals in consecutive games. Christian Ehrhoff has a goal and three assists over the last two games.
Injury report: Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom (shoulder) is day-to-day, while goalie Al Montoya (lower body) and forward Antti Miettinen (upper body) are on injured reserve. … Buffalo defenseman Andrej Sekera (charley horse) is day-to-day, and forward Ville Leino (hip) is on injured reserve.
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