Ruff Coached Stars Visit FNC To Take On Vanek-less Sabres

@ 7:00 PM

 

Last Game:

 

Buffalo: October 26 at Lightning Loss 3-2

 

 

Dallas: October 26 vs Jets Loss(SO) 2-1

 

 

Record:

 

Buffalo: 2-10-1

 

Dallas: 4-5-1

 

Points:

 

Buffalo: 5

 

Dallas: 9

 

Rank In Conference:

 

Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)

 

Dallas: 13th(7th in Central)

 

Goals For:

 

Buffalo: 19(28th)

 

Dallas: 25(T-23rd)

 

Goals Against:

 

Buffalo: 37(T-26th)

 

Dallas: 30(T-14th)

 

Power Play Rankings:

 

Buffalo: 9.5%(29th)

 

Dallas: 13.5%(23rd)

 

Penalty Kill Rankings:

 

Buffalo: 84.4%(T-7th)

 

Dallas: 80.6%(17th)

 

Shots For:

 

Buffalo: 326(16th)

 

Dallas: 305(24th)

 

Shots Against:

 

Buffalo: 464(30th)

 

Dallas: 354(19th)

 

Face-Off Percentage:

 

Buffalo: 46.4%(T-24th)
Dallas: 51.4%(12th)

 

Hits:

 

Buffalo: 342(3rd)

 

Dallas: 223(T-22nd)

 

Blocked Shots:

 

Buffalo: 163(13th)

 

Dallas: 159(16th)

 

Team Leaders:

 

Goals:

 

Buffalo: Moulson(6), Hodgson(4), Foligno and Flynn(2), 7 Players Tied With 1 Goal

 

Dallas: Chiasson(5), Seguin(4), J. Benn and Dillon(3), Eakin and Peverley(2)

 

Assists:

 

Buffalo: Hodgson(5), Foligno(4), Ehrhoff and Moulson(3), 5 Tied with 2 Assists

 

Dallas: J. Benn(8), Seguin and Whitney(6), Chiasson(4), Eakin, Peverley, and Fiddler(3)

 

Points:

 

Buffalo: Hodgson and Moulson(9), Foligno(6), 6 Players Tied with 3 Points

 

Dallas: J. Benn(11), Seguin(10), Chiasson(9), Whitney(6)

 

Plus/Minus:

 

Buffalo: Moulson(+3), Ehrhoff and Pysyk(+1), Sulzer, Leino, and Foligno(EV), Kaleta and Grigorenko(-1)

 

Dallas: Dillon and Robidas(+8), Benn, Peverley, and Connaution(+2), Seguin and MacDermid(+1), Garbutt and C. Mueller(EV)

 

Penalty Minutes:

 

Buffalo: McCormick(22), Weber(21), Ott(20), Scott(19)

 

Dallas: Roussel(43), Garbutt(19), Horcoff(14), Dillon and Robidas(8)

 

Shots:

 

Buffalo: Stafford(33), Hodgson(31), Moulson(28), Ehrhoff(25),

 

Dallas: Benn(37), Chiasson(33), Seguin(27), Peverley(23)

 

Face-Off Wins:

 

Buffalo: Hodgson(93), Ott(70), Foligno(49), Larsson(42)

 

Dallas: Eakin(82), Fiddler(70), Seguin(48), Horcoff(46)

 

Hits:

 

Buffalo: Ott(44), Weber, Girgensons, and Foligno(29), Myers(22), Porter, Scott, Larsson, and Ristolainen(18)

 

Dallas: Dillon(22), Robidas(21), Roussel and Benn(19), Chiasson(16)

 

Blocked Shots:

 

Buffalo: Ehrhoff(25), Weber(24), Pysyk(15), McBain(11)

 

Dallas: Daley(20), Dillon(19), J. Benn(18), Gonchar and Robidas(15)

 

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:

 

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 1-8-0 3.02 GAA .918 SV% 0 SO

 

Dallas: Dan Ellis 1-3-0 3.60 GAA .895 SV% 0 SO

 

Notes:

 

Last Meeting: February 10, 2012 Sabres Won(SO) 3-2

 

 

Season Series: Sabres Won 1-0-0

 

All-Time: Sabres Lead 54-41-17

 

All-Time vs DAL: Sabres Lead 31-13-11

 

Upcoming Matchups:

 

March 3 at Stars 8:00 PM

 

Last Game Recap:

 

Lightning rally late with pair to dump Sabres

 

Ondrej Palat’s shot through a goalmouth scramble late in the game was the winner, as the Tampa Bay Lightning scored twice in 1:46 to rally from behind in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

 

Just like they did on October 9 in Buffalo, the Sabres had a 2-1 lead on the Lightning in the third period. And just like that early October night at First Niagara Center, the Sabres would fritter away a golden opportunity to take home two points.

 

Thomas Vanek put Buffalo ahead at 12:46 when he one-timed a perfectly-placed slapshot under the arm of Tampa goaltender Ben Bishop, finishing off a power rush and backhand pass from Marcus Foligno. The goal continued a career trend for Vanek, who now has 24 goals and 39 assists in 33 games against the Lightning

 

But as quickly as Buffalo grabbed the lead, the Lightning’s big guns took it away. Tampa played keepaway with the puck, as the Sabres got caught running around the defensive zone. Martin St Louis ducked in behind rookie Nikita Zadorov at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, and buried a pass through the slot from Steven Stamkos at 14:09 to bring the game back even.

 

Palat capped the comeback 106 seconds later on a play that should’ve been called a penalty. Rasmus Ristolainen went into the right corner to play the puck, only to have his feet taken out from under him by Palat, who then cycled the loose puck to Tyler Johnson. His initial attempt was stopped by Ryan Miller before Palat found the back of the net with a spinning wrist shot through a crowd at 15:55.

 

The loss was a tough pill to swallow for Miller, who had kept Stamkos and St. Louis off the scoresheet for most of the night with several key saves. Miller repeatedly denied the prolific pair their one-time attempts from the off-wing faceoff dot, anticipating their shots with numerous cross-crease sliding saves. Stamkos and St. Louis each recorded four shots on goal to pace Tampa’s 39-shot attack.

 

As has been the case so far this season, goaltending held Buffalo in the game. Tonight it was Miller’s turn with 36 stops, following up Jhonas Enroth’s 44-save performance on Friday. Miller’s record drops to 1-8-0 with the loss, numbers clearly not indicative of his strong play.

 

http://sabres.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2013020159

 

Tonight’s Preview:

Stars’ Ruff makes return to Buffalo

 

Big story: Stars coach Lindy Ruff returns to Buffalo to face his former team for the first time since being fired by the Sabres on Feb. 20, 2013. Ruff was in his 15th season with Buffalo when he was let go, making him the longest-tenured coach in the NHL at the time. Sabres captain Steve Ott plays against his former team for the first time since being traded from Dallas to Buffalo in the 2012 offseason. The Sabres have five wins and a tie in their last six home games against Dallas. The last time the Stars won in Buffalo was in 1999 and they skated around the rink with the Stanley Cup afterwards.

 

Team Scope:

 

Stars: In addition to the winless streak in Buffalo, Dallas has dropped every road game this season since a win against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 11. The Stars will look to avoid a sixth straight road loss, while attempting to build off two strong showings at home last week that earned them three points. While Dallas did manage a point in a 2-1 shootout loss against the visiting Jets on Saturday, coach Ruff wasn’t happy with the way his team started the game.

 

“In the first period we resembled the team that practiced [Saturday] morning,” Ruff said. “We weren’t crisp [Saturday] morning and we didn’t come out crisp, and I thought that hurt us.”

 

Sabres: There will likely be some reminiscing and reunions for much of the Sabres organization as Ruff returns, but Buffalo will need to remain focused on breaking out of its recent cold streak. The Sabres are losers of four of their last five games and were last in the NHL as of Sunday with an average of 1.46 goals scored per game.

 

While veteran Thomas Vanek (tied with Cody Hodgson for a team-leading nine points) and goaltender Ryan Miller continue to turn in solid efforts, much of the supporting staff has not been producing. Vanek scored a goal and Miller made 36 saves Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but two late goals by Tampa helped defeat the Sabres, 3-2.

 

Coach Ron Rolston did not hold back in the post-game interview Saturday, singling out two players who he benched for most of the final period.

 

Cody Hodgson. He didn’t play. He just didn’t play,” Rolston said. “[Drew] Stafford too. Your best players have to be your best players. At the end of the day, that’s what is going to happen.”

 

Who’s Hot: Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is 3-0-1 in his last four starts with a 0.75 goals-against average. … Vanek is in the midst of a four-game point streak for Buffalo with a goal and three assists over that span.

 

http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/preview?id=2013020171&navid=sb:preview

 

Injury Report:

 

Buffalo: Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Kaleta Suspension(Out), Scott Suspension(Out), Weber Upper Body(IR/Out)

 

Dallas: Garbutt Suspension(Out), Chiasson Flu-Like Symptoms(Questionable)

 

Next 5 Games:

 

October 31 at New York Rangers 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

 

November 2 vs Anaheim Ducks 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

 

November 5 at San Jose Sharks 10:30 PM(MSG HD)

 

November 7 at Los Angeles Kings 10:30 PM(MSG HD)

 

November 8 at Anaheim Ducks 10:00 PM(MSG HD)

 

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