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At the Horn: Sabres 4 - Stars 1

Frolik scores shorthanded to cap 4-for-4 night by penalty kill

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Michael Frolik was billed as an impact player on the penalty kill when he joined the Sabres earlier this month. It's only fitting that his first goal with the team came shorthanded. 

Frolik found the back of an empty net with 2:16 remaining, capping a 4-for-4 night on the penalty kill and providing a needed cushion for the Sabres in what ended as a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

Jimmy Vesey, Rasmus Dahlin, and Zemgus Girgensons also scored goals for the Sabres. Jack Eichel tallied an assist to extend his point streak to nine games, while Linus Ullmark made 28 saves.

Jamie Benn scored the only goal for the Stars. Ben Bishop stopped 18 shots.

Video: Ullmark, Okposo lead Sabres to 4-1 win vs. Stars


What happened

The Sabres entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on the strength of Vesey's goal, set up by a no-look feed from Sam Reinhart. The Stars responded in the second, outshooting the Sabres, 16-5, and tying the game on Benn's goal just 4:28 into the period. 

Despite the lopsided shot totals, the Sabres were able to salvage the period thanks to Dahlin's goal, scored with 3:50 remaining. The defenseman's shot beat Bishop cleanly to his glove side thanks to a screen from Curtis Lazar.

Video: BUF@DAL: Dahlin buries shot through traffic

Buffalo also benefitted from a perfect night from its penalty kill against a Dallas power play that had been the hottest in the NHL since the start of January. Two of those three kills came during the second period, another came while protecting a 2-1 lead late in the third. 

That last kill came as the result of an interference call against Lawrence Pilut with 3:35 remaining and ended with Frolik finding the empty net after the Stars pulled Bishop for a 6-on-4 advantage. Girgensons added a second empty-net goal with 9.9 seconds on the clock. 


What it means

The Sabres have won three straight games and five of their last seven. With losses by both Philadelphia and Carolina, they're back within five points of both wild card spots. 

Special teams were once again a key factor. After seeing their power play go 6-for-13 over the last five games, this time it was the penalty kill that made the difference. Frolik and Lazar led the way with 4:03 and 3:36 of shorthanded ice time, respectively. Frolik also tallied a team-high five shots. 

As for Eichel, he joins Boston's David Pastrnak as the second player with multiple point streaks of nine games or more this season. 


Roll the highlight film 

Take a look at Reinhart's dish to Vesey, his 20th point in his last 20 games. 

Video: BUF@DAL: Vesey finishes nice feed from Reinhart


What's next

The Sabres conclude their road trip in Nashville on Saturday. Coverage on MSG begins at 7:30 p.m., or you can listen to the game on WGR 550. Puck drop is scheduled for 8. 

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