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Penguins chase eighth straight as they face Sabres

by Brian Hunter

SABRES (19-21-6) at PENGUINS (35-10-0)


Last 10: Buffalo 6-4-0; Pittsburgh 8-2-0

Season series: Third and final meeting of the regular season. The road team has won the first two matchups. Paul Martin's goal with 2:04 remaining gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win at First Niagara Center on Feb. 17, but the Buffalo Sabres came in to Consol Energy Center on April 2 and snapped the Penguins' 15-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory as Kevin Porter scored his first two goals of the season.

Big story: One night after playing in Ottawa, the Penguins are back home for a game that had originally been scheduled for this past Saturday but had to be postponed when their Friday game in Boston against the Bruins was pushed back a day in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt for one of the suspects.

Team Scope:

Sabres: In its first game after being eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention, Buffalo put up a strong fight at home against a Winnipeg team that desperately needed to win to keep its own hopes alive. Jhonas Enroth was stellar, making 37 saves, and Thomas Vanek scored a power-play goal that sent the game into the third period all even. But a goal by Antti Miettinen with 7:36 remaining kept the Jets flying and sent the Sabres to a tough 2-1 defeat.

"[Enroth] was great. He was our best player by far," forward Steve Ott said. "He came in and we knew he'd be strong."

Penguins: It pales in comparison to the streak Pittsburgh was on the last time it faced Buffalo, but the Penguins enter Tuesday winners of seven in a row after a 3-1 triumph on Monday in Ottawa. Short several regulars and facing a Senators squad still fighting to secure a postseason berth, the Penguins got all they needed in the first period on goals by Dustin Jeffrey and Jarome Iginla. Insurance was added by Tyler Kennedy late in the third to help Tomas Vokoun earn his 300th career victory in his 700th appearance. It also made Dan Bylsma fastest in NHL coaching history to 200 wins.

"I'll remember this win for a while," Bylsma said. "When you look at career numbers for coaches, I'm not sure where 200 ranks. I've got a long way to go. But I'm certainly happy and I got the puck."

Who's hot: Tyler Ennis has one goal and four assists during a four-game points streak for the Sabres. Vanek has two goals and two assists over his past four games. … Iginla has goals in three straight games for the Penguins. Brenden Morrow has five goals and five assists over his past six games.

Injury report: Pittsburgh was without defenseman Kris Letang (food poisoning) and forward Beau Bennett (upper body) on Monday, while also awaiting the returns of forwards Sidney Crosby (jaw), James Neal (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (upper body). Martin (wrist) is on injured reserve.

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