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Preview: Buffalo Sabres @ Dallas Stars (7:30pm CST)

The Sabres have won three straight. In overtime, no less. Your move, Dallas Stars.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars feel you. In fact they feel it quite a bit more, I daresay.

“Missed opportunities,” Lindy Ruff explained of his club’s latest extra-time loss.

“We had a two-on-one and don’t capitalize. We’re one shooter away from winning it and don’t capitalize. Just missed opportunities. I thought we fought hard and had a big kill at the end of the third period. I thought our overtime was maybe the best of the year but, again, we found a way to give a point away…or not earn a second point. It’s tough, it’s frustrating, and we’re all frustrated.”

That frustration could not be more evident- And some pretty darned good efforts turned in of late have gone virtually rewarded, exacerbating said frustration.

Good efforts- Tremendous efforts, really, involving the two best teams in hockey from their respective conferences. The Stars out-shot the Washington (stinking) Capitals 35-22 Saturday night, but lost in OT.

They out-shot the West’s best in the Minnesota Wild 37-33 Tuesday night, and even survived the overtime period for the first time this year- And that second point, as Lindy says, still eluded them.

Two A-efforts. The two toughest opponents- But still a gaggle to leap-frog and a ticking clock that’s nearly reached February.

The hour hand moves past another this evening- The Sabres who so wholly dispatched our heroes 10 days ago by a score of 4-1. Tyler Ennis tallied 19 seconds into the game and Buffalo would add two power play goals on top of it in cruising to an easy three-goal differential.

Radek Faksa scored the lone goal on the occasion and he will not be participating this evening.

The Sabres, for their part, have used that victory to catapult themselves, as the Stars have been looking to do for months, ahead of other in a “four of five” stretch that’s seen them go from a game under .500 to a couple over it.

They’ve an impressive three-game win streak, including a back-to-back, in defeating the Red Wings, Canadiens and Predators. What’s more impressive? In direct contrast to the Stars’ 2-10 mark in OT, the Sabres won all three of those games 3-on-3, and they recorded 37 shots on goal or more in each.

They’re a hot, young team, who want to pepper you with shots and score some goals. Buckle up.

Their lineup:

  • Ennis-O'Reilly-Okposo
  • Foligno-Eichel-Reinhart
  • Kane-Girgensons-Gionta
  • Carrier-O'Reilly-Moulson

—--

  • Kulikov-Ristolainen
  • Bogosian-Franson
  • Falk-Fedun

Matt Moulson just hiding down there. Do you see that? And two O'Reilly's for every Evander Kane. Star-killers everywhere.

From Stars PR:

BUFFALO SOLIDERS

The Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres meet on Thursday night at American Airlines Center for the second and final meeting of the 2016-17 regular season. In the first game between the two teams this season on Jan. 16, the Sabres defeated the Stars, 4-1, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Forward Radek Faksa lit the lamp (1-0=1) for the team's only goal of the evening with forward Jiri Hudler (0-1=1) recording the assist. Dallas has won four-straight games (4-0-0) against Buffalo on home ice and has points in eight of the last nine games (7-1-1) against the Sabres in Dallas. The last time the Stars met the Sabres in the Lone Star State, Dallas shutout Buffalo, 3-0, on Nov. 21, 2015. Captain Jamie Benn recorded two goals (2-0=2) and forward Tyler Seguin posted two assists (0-2=2) in the contest, with goaltender Antti Niemi stopping all 22 shots faced.

NICE AND EAVESY

Forward Patrick Eaves recorded a power play goal (1-0=1) on Tuesday night against Minnesota and is riding two-game point streak (2-1=3) with seven points (4-3=7) over his last seven games. He notched his sixth multi-point game (1-1=2) of the season on Saturday night against Washington, tying the most multi-point games he's recorded during an NHL season (other: 2006-07 with Ottawa). The forward has 30 points (18-12=30) in 48 games, ranking first on the club in goals (18) and third in points (30). His 30 points this season register as the second-most he's recorded in a single season (most: 32 points in 2006-07 with Ottawa). Additionally, Eaves shares second in the NHL and leads the club with career-high 10 power play goals. The native of Calgary, Alta. has two points (1-1=2) in two games against the Sabres at American Airlines Center as a member of the Stars. Eaves has recorded nine points (5-4=9) in 28 career contests against Buffalo.