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Sabres-Panthers Preview @NHLdotcom
Sabres-Panthers Preview

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (23-10-1) at Florida Panthers (12-19-4).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.

Combining impressive goaltending and an opportunistic offense, the Buffalo Sabres are making the road their home away from home.

The Buffalo Sabres visit the Florida Panthers looking to match their own NHL record for consecutive road wins.

Despite resting streaking goalie Martin Biron, the Sabres outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a shootout victory Monday, the team's ninth straight road win. The league record is 10, set by the Sabres in 1983-84, and matched by the St. Louis Blues in 2000 and New Jersey Devils in 2001.

Picking up where Biron - the Sabres No. 1 netminder who had won 13 consecutive starts before getting Monday off - left off, backup Ryan Miller had 33 saves to extend Buffalo's road winning streak.

"I think it starts with goaltending," Buffalo's Chris Drury said. "They've been giving us great games and we have a lot of confidence to play our game and do the things we need to do offensively."

The Sabres also have played well at HSBC Arena and are 15-1-1 in their last 17 games, winning 10 consecutive one-goal decisions.

"We seem to dig down and find a way to win, especially with such a young team," Drury said. "It seems like we have no fear. We're down one on the road against a real good team. We find a way to get two points."

To continue that effort they'll have to find a way to beat Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, coming off a spectacular effort in his last game.

Luongo made a season-high 53 saves to help Florida end a 13-game road losing streak Sunday with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals.

"Once they got on a roll, they were firing it from every angle possible," Luongo said. "Luckily, there weren't that many bad bounces."

Nathan Horton, Jozef Stumpel and Rostislav Olesz scored for the Panthers, who won for just the third time in 19 road games. It was Florida's first road win since an overtime triumph Oct. 25 over Pittsburgh.

STANDINGS: Sabres - 47 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Northeast Division. Panthers - 28 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Ales Kotalik, 15 goals; Teppo Numminen, 20 assists; Ales Kotalik and Tim Connolly, 25 points; Maxim Afinogenov, 38 PIM. Panthers - Horton, 16 goals; Olli Jokinen, 19 assists and 32 points; Chris Gratton, 55 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Sabres - Power play: 21.7 percent (43 for 198), 3rd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (143 for 177), 9th. Panthers - Power play: 15.7 percent (28 for 178), 19th (tied). Penalty killing: 80.3 percent (176 for 219), 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Biron (15-4-1, 0 SO, 3.04 GAA); Miller (7-4-0, 0, 2.59). Panthers - Luongo (12-15-4, 2, 3.17); Jamie McLennan (0-4-0, 0, 3.10).

SEASON SERIES: Panthers, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 15; Panthers, 3-2. At Florida, Jokinen scored a power-play goal with 1:07 to play for the game-winner.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 12-5-0 on the road; Panthers - 9-6-1 at home.

Associated Press
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