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Preview: There’s No Place Like Home

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Sabres host the Stars in a Saturday matinee

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game #46

Buffalo Sabres (11-25-9) vs. Dallas Stars (26-17-4)

Season Series: 1-0 Stars

November 4, 2017 - Stars 5, Sabres 1 (recap)

Puck drop: 1:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Stars blog: Defending Big D

What to Watch

1. Home Cooking?

Buffalo has struggled more on the road than at home this season. The Sabres played to that on Thursday night, as their road record dropped to 5-14-6. Their record is not much better at home (6-11-3) but in a trying season, one must look for positives. Buffalo seems to be just a miniscule amount better at home. It is possible that the familiarity of the Key can bring some success to the Sabres on Saturday afternoon.

2. Okposo Stays Warm

Don’t look now but Kyle Okposo is slowly gathering points in the month of January. After a two-point night against the Rangers on Thursday, Okposo is up to nine points (two goals, seven assists) in seven games. While the Sabres season is all-but-lost at this point, Okposo’s return to form is a very important development.

3. Home Cooking: Part Deux

A stick-tap to the Sabres PR Department for this nugget: the Buffalo Sabres are one win away from 1,000 regular season home victories. In case you were wondering, their regular season home record sits at 999-580-196-68 (W-L-T-OTL).

Buffalo has recorded 581 home victories at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, 417 home victories at the KeyBank Center and one home victory at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki against the Anaheim Ducks, in October 2011.

Know Your Opponent

1. Consistency is key

Dallas has scratched and clawed their way back into the playoff hunt over their last 12 games. The Stars have grabbed 17 of last 24 potential points, dating back to December 21 against the Chicago Blackhawks. With 56 points in 47 games, Dallas currently occupies the top Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

2. Dallas has Stars

Before you ask, yes there was a pun intended. The Stars’ big four of Benn, Seguin, Radulov and Klingberg are leading the way lately. Here is how all four have been playing (if you maybe wanted to plan out your Saturday afternoon to avoid the Sabres game):

- Jamie Benn: six-game point streak (2 goals, 5 assists) and 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in his last 13 games

- Tyler Seguin: pointless in last three of four games but has 12 points (8 goals, 4 assists) in last 12 games

- John Klingberg: nine-game point streak (2 goals, 11 assists), 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists) in last 13 games

- Alexander Radulov: six-game point streak (4 goals, 7 assists), 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in last 9 games

Get your popcorn ready, we’re about to see a white-hot offense roll into Buffalo.

Projected Lineup

67 Benoit Pouliot - 15 Jack Eichel - 21 Kyle Okposo*

9 Evander Kane - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 29 Jason Pominville

28 Zemgus Girgensons - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 23 Sam Reinhart

20 Scott Wilson - 22 Johan Larsson - 17 Jordan Nolan

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

41 Justin Falk - 19 Jake McCabe

4 Josh Gorges - 8 Casey Nelson

Starting Goaltender: 40 Robin Lehner

*Nicholas Baptiste skated in lieu of Okposo on Friday. Okposo had a maintenance day per Phil Housley and he will play Saturday.