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Sabres Host the Stars in Their First Meeting This Season

Buffalo Hopes to Build on Recent Win

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

Game 40

Buffalo Sabres (12-20-7) vs. Dallas Stars (18-16-2)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B, BSSW

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Dallas Stars Blog: Defending Big D

Know Your Opponent

Dallas Stars

Record: (18-16-2)

Last Game: 5-3 Loss to Montreal

Division Ranking: 6th in the Central Division

PP: 7th (24.76%)

PK: 25th (77.27%)

What to Watch

1. Will the Sabres Win More Than One Game in a Row?

The Buffalo Sabres have developed the habit of losing their next game after a big win. All season long, fans have watched a team that seems to have a split personality. They’ll play really well one night, blocking shots, making plays, getting goals and coming away with two points. Then the following game a completely different group takes the ice, losing turnovers, letting in easy goals and showing a general lack of discipline, energy and effort.

The Sabres haven’t put two back-to-back wins together since Dec.16th. The fans, who have endured a 10 year long and counting playoff drought, deserve to see more of the same level of play the Sabres have shown in brief moments when they’ve won occasionally.

2. Lower Ranking Teams Beat the Stars, So the Sabres Have No Excuse

Dallas is coming off a three-game losing streak, most recently falling to the current bottom feeding Montreal Canadiens. If a struggling franchise like the Habs, who have only won eight games this season, can dominate the Stars with a solid 5-3 victory, there’s no reason the Sabres can’t beat them too. If Buffalo puts a 60-minute consistent hockey effort together, they’ll make it a two-game winning streak, something they’ve done infrequently so far this year.

3. Dell Has to Dominate

Sabres goalie Michael Houser, who is the franchise’s 6th string goaltender, stopped 43 of 44 shots against the Ottawa Senators. With UPL week to week, Subban month to month, Tokarski presumably suffering from long Covid and Craig Anderson not coming back anytime soon, Houser and Dell have to step up and be strong in net. Aaron Dell is likely tonight, so hopefully he’ll play as well as Houser did in Ottawa.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner – Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch

Victor Olofsson – Kyle Okposo – Petyon Krebs

Brett Murray – Mark Jankowski – Rasmus Asplund

Anders Bjork – Cody Eakin – John Hayden

Defense

Mark Pysyk – Matthias Samuelsson

Henri Jokiharju – Rasmus Dahlin

Will Butcher – Robert Hagg

Starting Goalie: Aaron Dell

Dallas Stars

Forwards

Joe Pavelski – Roope Hintz – Jacob Peterson

Tyler Seguin – Jamie Benn – Denis Gurianov

Michael Raffl – Luke Glendening – Radek Faksa

Joel Kiviranta – Rhett Gardner – Riley Damiani

Defense

Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen

John Klingberg – Esa Lindell

Jani Hakanpaa – Joel Hanley

Starting Goalie: Jake Oettinger