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Sabres at Stars preview

Buffalo center Eichel looks to extend point streak; Dallas goes for eighth win in nine games

by Josh Clark / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

SABRES (21-19-7) at STARS (27-15-4)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, MSG-B, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Dallas Stars go for their eighth win in nine games when they play the Buffalo Sabres at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

The Stars ended a four-game road trip (3-1-0) with a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. They've outscored opponents 24-12 in their past eight while allowing two goals or fewer in each.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in an eight-game point streak, tied with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane for the longest active streak in the NHL. 

 

Players to watch

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has scored 16 goals in 47 games, putting him on pace for an NHL career-high 28.

Stars defenseman Esa Lindell has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past seven games, including the game-winning goal Tuesday.

 

They said it

"It's a whole different ballgame than three months ago when we played them. They're second in the Western Conference and on a very high pace. We're going to be tested and we need to play our best game tonight here, for sure." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"They beat us 4-0 and we're well aware of that. We didn't play very well, and we've noticed that they have won their past couple of games. Their power play is on fire again, which it was when we played them early in the year. They're playing hard. They know where they are in the standings and you give them a lot of credit. They're going to come at us tonight." -- Stars coach Rick Bowness

 

Sabres projected lineup

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Marcus Johansson -- Michael Frolik

Rasmus Asplund -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Jimmy Vesey -- Curtis Lazar -- Evan Rodrigues

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe -- Henri Jokiharju

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Zach Bogosian, Scott Wilson, Colin Miller

Injured: Victor Olofsson (lower body), Jeff Skinner (upper body), Tage Thompson (shoulder surgery), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov

Roope Hintz -- Joe Pavelski -- Joel Kiviranta

Andrew Cogliano -- Jason Dickinson -- Blake Comeau

Denis Gurianov -- Justin Dowling -- Corey Perry

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak -- Miro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera -- Roman Polak

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Taylor Fedun

Injured: Mattias Janmark (illness), Radek Faksa (upper body), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches)

 

Status report

The Sabres will skate 12 forwards and seven defensemen during warmups. … Perry returns to after a five-game suspension. … Faksa, a forward, is day to day. … Janmark missed the morning skate. The forward will be a game-time decision.

 

Stat pack

The Sabres are 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) on the power play in their past five games. … Bishop is 12-1-1 with a 1.55 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in 14 games against Buffalo. … Dallas has won seven straight against Buffalo at American Airlines Center.

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