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Daily Primer March 3: Stars continue playoff push

Monday, 03.03.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

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Daily Primer March 3: Stars continue playoff push
The Dallas Stars host the Buffalo Sabres as they try to hold on to the second and final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Dallas Stars will continue their pursuit of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a nationally televised game Monday.

Dallas, which currently sits in the second wild-card spot due to games in hand on the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks (all three teams have 66 points), will host the Buffalo Sabres at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Here is a closer look at the action Monday:

Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs-- Columbus has lost four of its past five road games and now must visit a Toronto team that has won its past seven games at Air Canada Centre. The Blue Jackets are in the midst of a stretch that features 17 games in 31 days; the Maple Leafs are coming off two straight overtime losses after possessing a lead in the third period of each game.

Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars -- It's the first game for Buffalo since trading goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues on Friday and the departure of Pat LaFontaine as the team's president of hockey operations Saturday. The Sabres have won three in row. Dallas is wrapping up a four-game homestand; the Stars are 2-1-0 thus far.

Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild -- The Flames opened up their quick two-game road trip with a 2-1 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Rookie forward Sean Monahan scored both goals for the Flames, who have won seven of their past 10 games. The Wild just completed a two-game trip of their own, earning victories against the Oilers and Canucks. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is 10-2-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .935 save percentage since Jan. 7.

Montreal Canadiens at Los Angeles Kings -- It's the first of a huge four-game road trip for the Canadiens, who are aiming to catch the Boston Bruins for the Atlantic Division lead. Montreal is six points behind Boston and two points ahead of the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning. Los Angeles is 3-0-0 since the Olympic break and sits comfortably in third place in the Pacific Division. Kings forward Justin Williams has two goals and two assists in his past three games.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres