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Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres Preview: Time to Bounce Back

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On a two-game losing streak, the Arizona Coyotes (13-11-2) will look to get back on track as they clash with the Buffalo Sabres (11-14-3) inside KeyBank Center in New York tonight at 5 p.m. MST.

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Prior to their last two losses, Arizona were arguably the hottest team in the NHL with a five-game winning streak.

Then, the Philadelphia Flyers came into Mullett Arena and snapped the Coyotes’ perfect run with a 4-1 win of their own on the road.

Following a performance where their opponents pressurized the ‘Yotes when in puck possession, the Boston Bruins did the same, if not better, as they capitalized off multiple mistakes and turnovers en route to Arizona’s 5-3 defeat on Dec. 9.

The Coyotes did have a late push in the end, but Bruins star David Pastrňák’s three-point night already cemented the damage early on.

Despite the result not being in their favor, Arizona wingers Michael Carcone and Clayton Keller both scored to continue their blistering starts to the season.

Carcone’s tally was his 13th goal of the year while Keller’s was his 25th point so far in 2023-24, both team highs.

Heading to northern New York, the Coyotes face the Sabres who are 1-4-1 in their last six contests.

Coming into this season, Buffalo looked promising as they are the youngest team in the NHL (average age 25.9) and have multiple players who could push them into the playoffs.

However, the season has not gone to plan for them as inconsistent goaltending and defensive issues have seen them struggle to form consistency.

Buffalo have recently welcomed back forward and Glendale native Tage Thompson after a nine-game absence with a lower-body injury.

After posting 47 goals and 47 assists for 94 points in 78 games a year ago, Thompson currently has seven tallies and eight helpers in 19 contests to this point.

Known for an elite shot and standing at 6’6″ even though he maneuvers on the ice like someone who is way shorter, Thompson possesses the talent to not only bounce back, but thrive as his ice-time ramps up.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin may be having a successful offensive season with 21 points in 27 games, but his plus/minus rating is -9, which is a massive dip from +12 in 2022-23.

This game will be the first half of a back-to-back for the Arizona Coyotes, with another contest being tomorrow vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.


The Coyotes split a two-game series with the Buffalo Sabres last year, 1-1.

On Nov. 8, 2022, Keller had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Coyotes victory in Buffalo.

In the Sabres’ first trip to Mullett Arena, Thompson had a three-point night in a 5-2 win over the ‘Yotes on Dec. 17, 2022.


Coyotes: C Jack McBain (lower body – IR), C Barrett Hayton (upper body), D Vladislav Kolyachonok (lower body – IR) and C Travis Boyd (upper body).

Sabres: RW Jack Quinn (Achilles – IR), LW Zemgus Girgensons (lower body – IR), LW Jordan Greenway (upper body – IR), G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (illness), RW Alex Tuch (lower body – IR) and *D Mattias Samuelsson (undisclosed).

*Samuelsson is questionable tonight, per Heather Engel from

Is Alex Kerfoot Coyotes’ most underrated player?

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Alec Cipollini is a reporter of the Arizona Coyotes and Cardinals for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account @AlecCipollini

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