Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres @ Dallas Stars (7:00pm CST)

Tell your friends- Dallas' best team is back at it again tonight at 7:00pm.

The Dallas Stars earned their 17th win last season on New Years Eve against the Phoenix Coyotes. This year they have a chance to collect it on November 21st as the Buffalo Sabres come calling.

Dallas got all they could handle from the Sabres earlier in the week in a 3-1 win and they know this is nothing to be taken lightly this evening.

"We know we're going to be in for another," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of the rematch. "They played a good game in St. Louis. We've already looked at it. They out-chanced them. They had a couple 5-on-3's. I thought they skated really well.

The Stars have won four straight and seven of their last eight overall. Buffalo lost to St. Louis Thursday night in Missouri in a shootout, but have no collected points in five of their last six, and they're getting healthier.

The puck drops on this one tonight just after 7:00pm on Fox Sports Southwest.

The Stars:

Dallas leads the league in scoring but against sees a Buffalo team that has limited the opposition to two goals or less in seven of their last nine. Dallas fought through a determined defense in Washington and likely face a Sabres team looking to play a disciplined road game this evening.

Buffalo went 0-for-4 on the power play Thursday, while the Stars had a couple of challenged showings agains the Capitals. Both teams will look to improve in that area, and the good news is that the Sabres allowed St. Louis to score both of their goals Thursday on the man-advantage.

The Stars rolled this to start with on Thursday in Washington:


Jokipakka-Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen started again in Washington and came up huge for the Stars as he starts to gain some real momentum, making the choice between he and Niemi that much harder for Ruff and company, who likely are sticking to a set schedule.

We'll check after morning skate to determine a likely starter. Niemi played well in stopping 24 of 25 against this squad on Tuesday.

The Sabres:

Buffalo fought back against the St. Louis Blues Thursday night after a first period deficit saw them trail 1-0, and they managed to get the game to overtime and a shootout 2-2 before failing in the skills competition thanks an Alex Steen shootout goal.

That's all the Sabres have done since last the Stars saw them.

Noteworthy in the shootout loss was the return of Evander Kane to the Buffalo lineup, who will likely play with Eichel tonight as the Sabres fortify an attack with more depth than Dallas saw in New York last week.

Kane played 21 minutes Thursday night, recorded a +1 rating and five shots on goal.

They'll roll something like this tonight:



Linus Ullmakr
Chad Johnson

Ullmark played again on Thursday and looks to be their horse for now, but we'll check morning skate on a likely starter.

Buffalo has plenty of potential fireworks to detonate on the offensive end, but have scored just four total goals in their last three games. The Stars will try to avoid being the team that relents where the Sabres appear to be somewhat "due" tonight just after 7:00pm. We'll see you at the AAC and in the gameday thread here for some lively discourse as the good guys search for win number 17 on the young season.

From Stars PR:

The Dallas Stars return home after a two-game Eastern Conference road trip to face off against the Buffalo Sabres for the second time in the last five days. The Stars defeated the Sabres, 3-1, on Tuesday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo and have now collected points in six of their last seven overall games (5-1-1) against them. In the first meeting of the season, defenseman Alex Goligoski recorded a multi-point game (0-2=2) with forwards Tyler Seguin (1-0=1), Jason Spezza (1-0=1) and Valeri Nichushkin (1-0=1) all adding goals. The Stars have won three-straight games against Buffalo at American Airlines Center and have collected points in seven of their last eight home games (6-1-1) against the Sabres.

Stars defenseman John Klingberg tallied two assists (0-2=2) against the Capitals on Thursday night and now has registered a mutli-point game in four of his last six games (2-7=9). Klingberg now has seven multi-point games this season, the most by any NHL defenseman and tied for the fourth-most amongst all players. The native of Gothenburg, Sweden ranks first in the NHL in assists (18) and shares fourth in points (4-18=22), while he leads all NHL defensemen in both categories. He has registered points in two of his three career games against the Buffalo Sabres, tallying three assists (0-3=3).