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GDT: Coyotes to spar with Sabres

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Two teams looking to forever leave the basement behind are facing off tonight.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Arizona Coyotes Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes are pursuing their second win of the season when they take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Gila River Arena. The team finally got their first goal of the season thanks to a powerplay tally by Dylan Strome. Getting the scoring monkey off their backs, particularly against the goalie that stole the home opener from the team, had to have felt great. Continuing their excellent level of play and earning another win can keep those good feelings rolling.

In spite of the win, as reported by Richard Morin, Head Coach Rick Tocchet has decided to change his lineup reuniting last season’s top line and promoting Strome to being the second line center. These changes are in hopes that reuniting Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan will be able to ignite both players’ ability to score.

Morin reported that the lines should look like this:

Panik—Stepan—Keller

Crouse—Strome—Fischer

Grabner—Richardson—Cousins

Perlini—Kempe—Hinostroza

Ekman-Larsson—Demers

Connauton—Hjalmarsson

Goligoski—Lyubushkin

Raanta

Kuemper

The Sabres are also hungry for a win after suffering a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, bringing their current record to 2-2-0. Expectations were raised for the club after they selected Rasmus Dahlin with the first overall pick at this summer’s draft. Dahlin wasn’t the only addition the club made, trading for Jeff Skinner, Conor Sheary, Tage Thompson, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka this offseason. Also Top 10 2017 pick Casey Middlestadt has joined the club and all of these additions are expected to play tonight.

Players to watch

Arizona: Dylan Strome - The easy pick would be Keller with his return as top line wing but equally important is making sure Strome can still be effective with increased responsibilities.

Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin - It will be Coyotes’ fans first and only chance this season to see the first overall pick from the most recent draft.

Injuries

Arizona: Jakob Chychrun (Knee), Nicholas Merkley (Knee), Alex Galchenyuk (Groin), and Christian Dvorak (Back)

Buffalo: Zach Bogosian (Lower Body)