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Sabres at Stars preview

Buffalo defenseman Ristolainen out with lower-body injury; Lehtonen starts for Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

SABRES (4-7-2) at STARS (7-6-0)

8 p.m. ET; FW-SW+, MSG-B, NHL.TV 


The Game

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen won't be in the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Ristolainen is out with an upper-body injury sustained in Buffalo's 5-4 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. Coach Phil Housley said he's day to day.

Kari Lehtonen will make his third start and fifth appearance of the season for the Stars. Lehtonen is 1-3-0 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .896 save percentage; however, in his last start he made 29 saves in a 2-1 win at the Calgary Flames on Oct. 27.

Robin Lehner will make his third straight start for Buffalo, which is 0-5-0 in Dallas since a 5-4 shootout win on Jan. 15, 2009.

Dallas is home after a five-game road trip. The Stars are 4-1-0 at American Airlines Center and haven't lost there since opening night.


Players to watch

Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly has four points in Buffalo's past two games. He had three assists in the win at Arizona.

Stars forward Alexander Radulov has a goal in each of the past four games. Two of the four goals have been game-winners.


They said it

"Obviously you lose a guy like that logs a lot of minutes and plays in every situation, we're going to have to spread that around a little bit and rely on other guys. " -- Sabres coach Phil Housley on replacing defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen

"He did a great job in Calgary and we hope he does the same job again. And that's what your second goalie does. He wants more and if he plays really well tonight we've got to think about that. We've got to think about maybe adding some more games into the mix for him." -- Stars coach Ken Hitchcock on Kari Lehtonen.

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons -- Sam Reinhart -- Seth Griffith

Matt Moulson -- Johan Larsson -- Jordan Nolan

Marco Scandella -- Justin Falk

Jake McCabe -- Matt Tennyson

Victor Antipin -- Taylor Fedun

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Nicholas Baptiste

Injured: Justin Bailey (lower body), Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body)


Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Antoine Roussel -- Jason Spezza -- Remi Elie

Jason Dickinson -- Mattias Janmark -- Devin Shore

Gemel Smith -- Radek Faksa -- Tyler Pitlick

Marc Methot -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Greg Pateryn

Esa Lindell -- Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: Martin Hanzal (lower body), Brett Ritchie (upper body)


Status report

Bailey skated by himself after the morning skate and will miss his second straight game. … General manager Jim Nill said Ritchie will miss 5-7 days with an upper-body injury. Hanzal skated by himself for 45 minutes on Saturday and is expected to practice Sunday.


Stat pack

Pominville has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past six games; he had seven (two goals, five assist) in his previous five. … Seguin has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past nine games, Benn has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past seven games. Dallas has the NHL's best power play (30.8 percent) and the third-best penalty kill (86.7 percent).

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