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Blackhawks-Sabres Preview

AP - Sports

After breaking out offensively to get back on track at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks hope to do the same on the road.

They can avoid a third straight road defeat Sunday night by continuing their success against the Buffalo Sabres, who return from a recent trip with a far different look as they try for a fourth consecutive home victory.

Prior to Thursday's 6-1 home rout of Columbus, Chicago (37-13-14) lost three of five while totaling 10 goals - half coming during a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Soldier Field on March 1. The Blackhawks managed five non-shootout goals in their previous three at the United Center before rolling past the Blue Jackets.

New linemates Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw each scored twice as 13 Blackhawks recorded at least one point to rebound from a 4-2 home loss to Colorado two nights earlier.

"It's good for us to get back on track," Toews told the NHL's official website.

"We're motivated to build ourselves into the team we want to be come playoff time, but that adds to it to keep us honest, to make sure we're competing the right way every night."

With Marian Hossa expected to miss at least another week with an upper-body injury and the Blackhawks needing a jolt offensively, coach Joel Quenneville put Shaw with Toews and Brandon Saad.

The result was Shaw's first goals in 12 games and first points in six. Toews, meanwhile, has five goals in three games.

"I think all the lines had some chemistry,'' Shaw said. ''It was a big win for us."

The Blackhawks hope to channel some of Thursday's offensive success on the road, where they've scored three goals, been shut out once and gone 0 for 7 on the power play in the last three contests.

Chicago has totaled 16 goals during a four-game winning streak over Buffalo (19-36-8), but hasn't played there since a 4-3 victory Oct. 11, 2010.

Buffalo native Patrick Kane has three goals with three assists in seven games against the Sabres. He had a goal in Chicago's 2-1 win over the Sabres on Oct. 12, and has two with an assist in three games at Buffalo.

Owner of the NHL's worst record, the Sabres concluded a 1-2-0 trip with a 2-0 loss at Florida on Friday, but return home where they scored 12 goals to sweep a three-game stay out of the Olympic break.

Prior to the last game of the homestand Feb. 28, the Sabres traded longtime goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to St. Louis. Since, forward Matt Moulson was dealt to Minnesota, goaltender Michal Neuvirth was acquired from Washington and Pat LaFontaine resigned as the team's president of hockey operations a little more than three months after he took the job.

The Sabres also could be minus forwards Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart, both of whom are day to day with lower-body injuries.

Fellow forward Marcus Foligno hopes he doesn't face further disciplinary action from the NHL after he draw a game misconduct for hitting a falling Brandon Pirri into the Buffalo bench Friday.

"You never want to get suspended," said Foligno, who had a goal with an assist in Thursday's 3-1 win at Tampa Bay. "I want to be that player that's a clean player."

Teammate Cody Hodgson had two goals with two assists in four games prior to Friday, and has one with three assists in his last four versus Chicago.

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