Jets-Sabres Preview

The Associated Press

After coming up empty on a homestand, the slumping Winnipeg Jets will try to get back on track by adding to their recent success against another struggling team.

The Jets will seek a fourth straight win over the Buffalo Sabres when they begin a season-high, five-game road trip Tuesday night.

Winnipeg (5-8-1) continued its string of lackluster offensive performances while dropping three straight home games, with two of those losses coming by one goal. The Jets haven't scored more than two times in any of their last five games and are a combined 0 for 12 on the power play.

They got only two chances with a man advantage Sunday against Boston but still managed to take a 2-1 lead late in the second period. Winnipeg, though, gave up the tying goal with two seconds left in the period and a power-play goal 36 seconds into the third while dropping to 2-7-0 in its last nine.

"We are battling hard, but at the end of the day, we've got to string some wins together," defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "I think we need to get back to the basics."

The Jets, who will play nine of their next 11 on the road, won their final three games against the Sabres last season and snapped an 0-2-2 skid in Buffalo with a 2-1 overtime victory Jan. 7, 2012.

Ondrej Pavelec gave up one goal in each of those three matchups and might be in net against a Sabres team that's dropped three of four.

Buffalo (6-9-1) couldn't hold on to a one-goal lead in the third period in a 4-3 defeat to Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Sabres fell behind 2-0 in the first 1:27 before rallying to take the lead, but they allowed the tiebreaking goal with 2:04 remaining.

Goaltender Ryan Miller was so angry with his team's performance that he used several profanities when talking to reporters.

"Either we're not confident enough or experienced enough with a lead in the third period," said Miller, who went 1-2-0 with a 3.94 goals-against average versus the Jets last season. "That burned us. That's not acceptable."

Among the NHL leaders with 12 goals and 25 points, Thomas Vanek's play has been a bright spot for the Sabres, but even he hasn't helped solved their power-play woes.

Buffalo is 2 for 34 in nine games this month, and Vanek had one of those power-play goals Sunday while adding an assist.

"Our power play has to do a better job every single time we're out there," center Steve Ott said. "We know we need to continue to get better."

The Sabres scored four power-play goals on 12 chances in a 6-5 overtime win over the Jets on Nov. 8, 2011, but went a combined 1 for 8 in their three subsequent losses in the series. Vanek scored two goals in that home victory - including in overtime - but has only three goals and two assists in his last 11 matchups with the Jets.

Winnipeg center Bryan Little has two goals and five assists in his past four games against Buffalo.

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