Matinee hockey today vs the Buffalo Sabres. For all the talk about getting off to a good start went out the window just 19 seconds in when a John Klingberg turnover led to a Tyler Ennis goal on the game’s first shot of the game. Coming into the game Buffalo is 7-3-2 versus Western Conference teams.
Sloppiness with a capital S would be a way to describe the Stars play during the opening session. Buffalo won the opening face off and dumped the puck deep into the Stars defensive zone. Klingberg’s attempt to clear the puck went right to Tyler Ennis who went blocker side over Kari Lehtonen on the 1st shot of the game for a 1-0 lead.
Ennis had been out since November with a groin injury was noticeable early on for the Sabres,
More turnovers led to Buffalo shot from up close and Kari made some great saves to keep Dallas in the game.
Dallas with the 2nd worst penalty got a test early when Brett Ritchie had a high stick penalty. Ryan O’Reilly had a great chance on the lefthand side getting Kari to lean off the post but he hit iron.
Right after the penalty a Stephen Johns turnover led to another high quality scoring chance.
Radek Faksa lost Jack Eichel on a pinch and Eighel came in on a breakaway to draw a delayed penalty, luckily for the Stars the rebound shot by Taylor Fedun for a goal was after the whistle.
On the PK captain Jamie Benn gifted a puck from behind his net to Sabres defensemen Jake McCabe for a 2-0 lead neither goal registering an assist for Buffalo.
Stars were able to get on the board on a nice effort by Faksa to keep the puck in the Sabres zone. Jiri Hudler’s shot ricocheted off the crossbar and Faksa for Dallas’s 1st goal to make it 2-1.
Buffalo out shot the Stars 13-9 for the period.
Eichel with PP goal to make it 3-1. Fifth time in past eight games Stars have allowed 2 PP goals against in a game.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 16, 2017
In the 2nd Dallas thought they had tied things up, when a Johns’ shot bounced off Cody Franson past goalie Robin Lehner. Sabres Coach Dan Bylsma challenged the goal that Dallas was offsides. That challenge was upheld as Patrick Eaves entered the zone before Ja Benn.
A too many men penalty again put Buffalo on the PP. Jordie Benn was puck watching on the initial saves by Lehtonen and his man Eichel was wide open to bang home the rebound for a 3-1 lead.
Dallas didn’t get their first PP till nearly 5 minutes left in the 2nd on a Brian Gionta hooking call. The Stars had some good looks but couldn’t put any pucks past Lehner.
Stars shots 11(20 overall) Sabres 8(21)
Not much action early in the 3rd period as the Sabres fell back into a prevent defense to protect their 2 goal lead. Esa Lindell had a nice shot on a rolling puck but Lehner saw it all the way for the save.
Coach Lindy Ruff pulled Lehtonen around the 3 minute mark and Dallas got some quality chances as Lehner gave up some rebounds.
The Sabres iced it a few times trying to go for the empty net, before Eichel’s 2nd goal of the game into the empty net made it 4-1
Dallas won’t get much of a rest as the fly to the Big Apple tomorrow for a 6pm game with the New York Rangers.