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At the Rink: Stars at Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- Tyler Seguin is hoping he can get his scoring touch back when the Dallas Stars face the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Seguin has scored three goals since Jan. 3, a span of 15 games, and even though he’s still second in the NHL in points, he said he wants to start putting more shots past goalies.

“I’m trying to figure out that side of the game, too, where now I have every guy staring at me on the power play and every guy treating me with more respect on the ice than I’ve had before,” Seguin said. “I’m going through that growing and figuring out different ways to score and different ways to produce.”

Seguin has scored 28 goals this season and is tied for third in the NHL with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks. He’s four goals behind Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin and New York Rangers forward Rick Nash for the League lead.

“I’m good at scoring goals and producing when I get the puck in those situations, but now those situations aren’t there because those guys are following me around the ice," Seguin said. "It’s just about growing into that, that type of almost status, of being a known scorer now and trying to find new ways to score.”

Seguin has nine points in the past eight games including two goals. Even though he’s not scoring, the points are still there.

“I’d be alarmed if the chances weren’t there,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “The chances are there. The grade-A chances are there. Everything he shot in the first 30 games went in. I think sometimes in this business there’s a bit of, ‘What goes around, comes around’ and now some of those grade-A chances aren’t going in … I think if you stay with the process, they’ll go and goal scorers run hot. I just want to see the chances continue to be there.”

Anders Lindback will start in goal for the Stars. He was recalled from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Friday. Lindback made 20 saves in his last start, a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, on Jan. 15.

“I think at the end of the day, you’re looking for your goalie to make that big save at a crucial time of the game,” Ruff said. “Sometimes when teams are pressing, there’s going to be some opportunities. We’ve had some where our power plays could’ve won us games, and some where just a big save would’ve locked it down for us. It hasn’t been just goaltending, it’s been a combination of a couple of areas.”

The Sabres will have rookie defenseman Nikita Zadorov back in the lineup. He was a healthy scratch against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

“[I have to] skate harder and play harder,” Zadorov said. “Every time I try my best, sometimes it’s not working out, sometimes you have a bad game, bad days. You’ve just got to step up and don’t look back.”

Zadorov will replace Andre Benoit in the lineup and be paired up with Rasmus Ristolainen.

“With a young defenseman, you just want to make sure you grab those young mistakes real quick,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “You want to make sure they don’t become habit, because we’re all creatures of habit.”

Jhonas Enroth will make his third consecutive start and sixth in the past seven games. He has a .937 save percentage the past two games and has allowed four goals in 63 shots.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Erik ColeJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt

Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Jyrki JokipakkaTrevor Daley

Jordie BennJason Demers

Anders Lindback

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Brett Ritchie, David Schlemko

Injured: Travis Moen (lower body), Patrik Nemeth (arm), Valeri Nichushkin (hip ), Rich Peverley (heart )


Chris StewartZemgus GirgensonsTyler Ennis

Matt MoulsonTorrey MitchellBrian Gionta

Cody HodgsonBrian FlynnDrew Stafford

Nicolas DeslauriersMatt EllisPatrick Kaleta

Josh GorgesTyler Myers

Nikita ZadorovRasmus Ristolainen

Mike WeberTyson Strachan

Jhonas Enroth

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Andre Benoit, Andrej Meszaros

Injured: Marcus Foligno (hand ), Cody McCormick (blood clot )

Status Report: Foligno skated with the Sabres again on Saturday. He sustained a broken hand in a fight against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 21 and hasn’t played since. He said if he doesn’t play on Sunday against the New York Islanders he’ll be in on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

Who’s Hot: Jamie Benn has a five-game points streak with three goals and four assists during that run. He also has 11 points in the past eight games. Klingberg has a four-game point streak with three goals and three assists. … Stewart has 14 points in the past 21 games. He has goals in four of the past six games and has scored 11 career goals against Dallas.

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