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game recap

Stars ride early lead to win against Sabres

Dallas scores four first-period goals

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars scored four first-period goals in a 5-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at American Airlines Center on Saturday.


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Stars highlights]


Remi Elie, Radek Faksa, Stephen Johns, Tyler Seguin and Antoine Roussel scored for Dallas (8-6-0). John Klingberg had three assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves.

"You have to treat it more like a practice. When it gets to four goals or five goals, just go shot after shot," Lehtonen said. "Don't think too much, because you know they [are going to] have some good chances, and stay in there. Stay calm, and if they score one, so what."

Elie gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 3:09 of the first period when he scored on a rebound. Robin Lehner misplayed the puck and turned it over to Roussel, who took a high wrist shot. Elie went hard to the net and scored his first goal of the season.

Video: BUF@DAL: Elie puts the rebound through Lehner's legs

Faksa scored on a rebound at 7:07 to make it 2-0. Gemel Smith carried the puck into the offensive zone and slipped a check from Jake McCabe before taking a shot Lehner couldn't handle.

"I give [the Stars] credit. They went to the net hard," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "The second one bounces over [Matt] Tennyson's stick and it goes right to their guy. Would we have wanted to change that? Yes, because I thought our guys played well and did a lot of good things. I thought we played good, it was just unfortunate we got bad bounces."

Stephen Johns pushed the lead to 3-0 at 10:27 on a rush with an assist from Smith.

Lehner was replaced by Chad Johnson after allowing three goals on seven shots. Johnson made 13 saves in relief.

"This is the life I choose. This happened to a lot of goalies," Lehner said. "We've just got to throw this out and go to the next game."

Dallas made it 4-0 at 12:51 when Tyler Seguin scored on the power play. Seguin beat Johnson with a one-timer after a pass from Klingberg at the point.

Video: BUF@DAL: Seguin blasts one-timer past Johnson for PPG

Buffalo made it 4-1 at 11:51 of the second period when Ryan O'Reilly got to a loose puck and beat Lehtonen with a wrist shot.

Roussel gave Dallas a 5-1 lead at 18:50 on a redirection in the slot. 

"I was just waiting for the right moment to give it to him," Klingberg said. "He's obviously really good at tipping that puck right to the net, and we do actually practice a lot, me and [Antoine], shooting and tipping in practice, so it's nice to see it pay off."


Goal of the game

Roussel's tip-in at 18:50 of the third period.

Video: BUF@DAL: Roussel nets redirection from the slot


Save of the game

Lehtonen's shorthanded glove save on Marco Scandella at 6:04 of the second period.

Video: BUF@DAL: Lehtonen fights through screen for nice save


Highlight of the game

Faksa's goal at 7:07 of the first period.

Video: BUF@DAL: Faksa slams home rebound to double the lead


They said it

"When I evaluate the game, I thought we played well. The score tells you differently. There's probably going to be a lot of people that disagree with me, but I thought we got the start we wanted. There's just some bad bounces that occurred." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley 

"It was really big, I mean, we responded the way we needed to. We had a little bit of a meeting yesterday too. It needs to be better, and I think we cleared that up today. We hold on to a lot more pucks, get into a lot more battles. That was a really huge win, and I feel like this was a really good team game, probably the best 60 minutes we played so far this year." -- Stars defenseman John Klingberg


Need to know

Faksa left the game in the second period after getting tangled up with Sabres forward Kyle Okposo. Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said Faksa was day to day and he would have an update Sunday. …  
Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body) missed his first game. … Stars forward Brett Ritchie (upper body) missed his second game, and forward Martin Hanzal (lower body) missed his third. … Hitchcock said Stars forward Tyler Pitlick (undisclosed) is day to day and would be evaluated Sunday.


What's next

Sabres: Host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSWA+, NHL.TV)

Stars: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-SW, NHL.TV)


Video: Stars ride four-goal 1st period to a 5-1 win

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