Coyotes (13-14-2) at Sabres (18-9-4)
Arizona will continue a four-game road trip vs. Eastern Conference teams when it plays Buffalo on Thursday night in the first game of back-to-back games. The Coyotes will skate vs. the New York Rangers on Friday night.
WHERE: KeyBank Center | WHEN: 5 p.m. (AZ time) | TV: FOX Sports Arizona | RADIO: ESPN 620 AM
ABOUT THE 'YOTES:
• The Coyotes will enter tonight's game looking to snap a three-game losing streak in which they've been outscored, 13-8, by Washington, San Jose and Boston.
• Darcy Kuemper will start in goal in place of Antti Raanta, who is sidelined indefinitely because of a lower-body injury. Kuemper, who has played 143 NHL games but just one vs. Buffalo, is seeking his first victory since Nov. 15 when he stopped 44 of 45 shots vs. Nashville. He recently missed eight games because of a lower-body injury. Adin Hill will be the backup goalie.
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• Alex Galchenyuk, who skipped Tuesday's game at Boston because of a lower-body injury, skated on Thursday morning but Head Coach Rick Tocchet listed his return to the lineup as "questionable."
• Arizona continues to lead the NHL in penalty-killing success at 90.6 percent. Opponents have scored just eight power-play goals against the Coyotes this season, and none since Nov. 27, a span of six games. Meanwhile, Arizona has scored an NHL-leading 11 shorthanded goals, which is just three shy of the Coyotes record for shorthanded goals in a season set in 1999-2000.
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• Alex Goligoski has produced 18 points in 23 career games against the Sabres and has scored seven of his 75 career goals vs. Buffalo. That's 9.3 percent.
• The Coyotes will be looking for revenge after losing to Buffalo, 3-0, at Glendale on Oct. 13. Arizona outshot the Sabres, 36-23, but couldn't get the puck past Linus Ullmark. Carter Hutton will start in Buffalo's net in the rematch.
• Nick Schmaltz is riding a modest two-game goal-scoring streak and has scored four power-play goals since skating in his first game with the Coyotes on Nov. 27.
ABOUT THE SABRES:
• Buffalo is 11-3-2 in its past 16 games and ranks sixth in the NHL with 40 points ... Jack Eichel leads the team and ranks 10th in the NHL with 38 points, including 28 assists. Eichel, who leads the League with 138 shots, will enter the game having scored five goals in his past three games ... Jeff Skinner has scored a team-high 21 goals, including three overtime goals, which co-leads the NHL ... Sam Reinhart will enter the game with a seven-game point streak (five goals, five assists) ... Rasmus Dahlin, whom Buffalo selected with the first overall pick at the 2018 NHL Draft, ranks sixth among NHL rookies with 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) ... Goalie Carter Hutton is 12-8-1 with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage ... The Sabres are 13-3-1 in their past 17 games against Arizona, including an 8-2-1 record since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
Video: Tocchet on Galchenyuk, Sabres
• "Buffalo plays fast. Obviously Jack Eichel is a great player, and they went out and got Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary. Those are fast players ... They've been playing better defense than last year and their goalie has been good. That's why they're winning games. Most nights, when I've watched them, they've gotten a good team effort." -- Rick Tocchet
• "It's hard when you don't have your full team on the ice (because of injuries), but you can't use that as an excuse ... Hopefully we can come out and play good hockey for 60 minutes. That's kind of what we're focused on in here, we're focused on ourselves and trying to find ways to win hockey games." -- Oliver Ekman-Larsson
• "Buffalo has been playing well this year ... Skinner is having a pretty good year for them and Eichel has been around the League for a while and he continues to put up points. If we can limit their time and space, and be stingy through the neutral zone and limit their speed through the neutral zone, we should be fine." -- Nick Cousins
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