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Coyotes and Sabres in Tank Wars 2: Electric Boogaloo

For the final time this season, the bottom two teams in the NHL face off as the race to the bottom gets a bit clearer.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

It what has strangely become one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, the number 29 team faces off against the number 30 team with the stakes being a chance to draft a future super star. These two teams met last week, and while it wasn't difficult to see why these two teams are close to the bottom it also highlighted the fact that players don't tank and give it their all every game.

Matchup at a Glance

Buffalo Sabres

Arizona Coyotes


48 (8th Atlantic)

54 (7th Pacific)

Goals For

1.81 (30th)

2.04 (29th)

Goals Against

3.32 (30th)

3.25 (28th)

Power Play

12.5% (30th)

20.4% (7th)

Penalty Kill

74.3% (30th)

77.6 (26th)

5v5 SAT

37.31 (30th)

48.91% (22nd)


.996 (20th)

.970 (30th)

The View from Buffalo

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Although some Sabres fans were caught celebrating Buffalo's loss to Arizona last week, the players were not content to let a draft pick act as a consolation prize to winning. The Sabres are going to do everything they can to win tonight's game, just like they did everything they could to force the last game into overtime.

Other then that not much has changed for the Sabres; they are still a terrible team that was assembled to compete for the top two picks as opposed to the Stanley Cup. Since these two teams met the Sabres lost 5-3 to the Colorado Avalanche. The game saw the Sabres go two periods without scoring only to come alive in the third period and score all three of their goals.

The View from Arizona

The Coyotes are coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, during which they played two solid periods of hockey before collapsing in the third. Despite the fact that the Coyotes played well against the Penguins the game received more attention because of a hit from Shane Doan on Kris Letang which resulted in Letang getting a concussion.

Tonight's game is the third to last home game that the Coyotes are going to play this season.  After this the Coyotes will face division rivals for their final five games; teams that are looking to either secure a playoff spot or build some momentum going into the playoffs. It will be a tough road ahead.

Who's Hot

Surprisingly enough given how the season began, the Coyotes' best player right now is Mike Smith. He has been doing everything he can to give his team a chance to win games. He has a .934 save percentage for the month of March; the fact that he has only three wins in that time spans shows how much the Coyotes are hurting for offense.

Andrej Meszaros had two goals in the Sabres' loss to the Avalanche, his first goal in exactly a month, basically making him and David Moss soulmates. Before that game, Meszaros had only 3 goals and 6 assists in 53 games with the Sabres this season.

Keys to the Game

Discipline. While neither of these teams are excellent on the power play right now, special teams definitely played a role the last time these two teams met. The Coyotes won in overtime on the power play with a goal from Sam Gagner, and two of Buffalo's three goals (including the game tying goal) were scored when the Coyotes were down a man.

Shots. Last time these two met the Coyotes out shot the Sabres 42-35. Goals like David Moss' really show that good things happen when you shoot the puck, especially if there is someone planted right in front of the net.

Don't fall behind. The Coyotes scored the first goal in their last three games. However they lost one game and had two of their games go to overtime. The Coyotes do not have the offensive weapons to make comebacks easy, so it will work out best if they take an early lead and keep it.

Injury Report

Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal are out for the rest of the season, while Lauri Korpikoski is questionable for tonight's game.

Tyler Ennis missed the third period of the last game against the Coyotes as well as the game against the Colorado Avalanche. Additionally Jerry D'Amigo, Chad Johnson, Josh Gorges, and Evander Kane are all out for the rest of the season, and Zemgus Girgensons and Cody McCormick are on the IR list for a foot injury and a blood clot in his leg respectively.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game is at 7 PM at Gila River Arena and is the last Student Rush of the season. If you can't make it out you can watch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or listen to it on AZ Sports 98.7 FM.