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Preview: Hurricanes at Sabres

Canes begin three-game road trip in Buffalo

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

BUFFALO - A three-game road trip begins for the Carolina Hurricanes in Buffalo with a Thursday night match-up against the Sabres.

The Hurricanes are looking to carry forward the momentum of an 8-2 drumming of the Ottawa Senators at home on Monday, which snapped a four-game losing skid.

"We finally got some pucks to go our way. We haven't really had much of that lately," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It was definitely a good effort."

A New Streak

After halting a four-game slide, the Hurricanes are hoping to begin a streak anew, this time in the opposite direction.

Coming off an 8-2 win over Ottawa, in which 14 different skaters recorded at least a point, the Canes now hit the road for three straight games, a trip that will take them through Buffalo, Minnesota and Chicago.

Thursday's tilt in Buffalo marks the first of three meetings between the Canes and Sabres this season. The Canes have won nine straight games against the Sabres, which marks the team's longest winning streak against any NHL opponent in franchise history.

Haula Back?

Erik Haula, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury, practiced with the Canes on Wednesday and is traveling with the team. With Eetu Luostarinen reassigned to Charlotte, could Haula be set to return?

PROJECTED LINEUP

"Haula is iffy right now," Brind'Amour said after practice. "I haven't been in [the room] yet to know whether he's going to play."

The Opposition

Thursday's game marks the Sabres' first back in North America since dropping two games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Buffalo is winless (0-4-1) in five straight dating back to late October, cooling off from a hot 8-1-1 start to the season. Jack Eichel leads the team in scoring with 19 points and is tied for the team lead in goals with eight.

"They're a pretty dynamic group. Some high talent, for sure," Brind'Amour said. "I think they've upgraded on the back-end. It's one of the better teams in the league."


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