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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on January 16, 2020

What you need to know on a game day in Dallas.

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It's a game day in Dallas. 

The Sabres will look to pick up their third win in a row when they visit the Stars tonight at American Airlines Center, kicking off a two-game road trip that leads into the bye week. 

Coverage on MSG begins at 8 p.m. You can hear the game on WGR 550, with puck drop scheduled for 8:30. 

Here's what you need to know. 


Tonight's matchup

It will be the second and final matchup between the two teams this season. The Sabres won the first meeting, 4-0, on Oct. 14, back when the Stars were in the thick of a 1-7-1 start.

Things have changed. The Stars now rank second in the Western Conference with 58 points and have won seven of their last eight games. Sabres coach Ralph Krueger remarked on the differences in Dallas' play following practice on Wednesday. 

"It's a different planet," he said. "Really, it's crazy. Watching them last night and this morning, there's a directness in their attack, there's a speed in their game that we didn't see when they were here. It's as well-oiled a machine as we've watched in a pre-scout in a while. This is going to be a big challenge for us. 

"They're very confident, they play extremely simple, they give you nothing and they defend better than any team that I've actually seen in the last four or five weeks on video. So, let's see it live. We need to break it down and we need to be as patient as they are to have a chance."

Dallas allows an average of 2.33 goals per game, which ranks first in the NHL. Its penalty kill ranks third in the league at 83.8 percent. 

The Sabres, meanwhile, have won four of their past six games thanks in part to a resurgence in their special teams. They're 6-for-13 on the power play in their last five contests. 

Check out Wednesday's practice report to find out how Rasmus Ristolainen's presence at the net-front has helped fuel the Sabres' recent success with the extra man. 


Who's Hot?

Here are some numbers to know for tonight. 

•   Jack Eichel has recorded points in each of Buffalo's last eight games (4+6), tying Mitchell Marner for the longest active streak in the NHL. His current stretch trails only his run of 18 consecutive games played with a point (Nov. 16 to Dec. 21) for his longest streak this season.

With a point tonight, Eichel would join David Pastrnak as the only other NHL player to record two separate point streaks of at least nine games this season.

•   Sam Reinhart has totaled 19 points (7+12) in the Sabres' last 19 contests. He's coming off a three-point outing (1+2) against Vegas on Tuesday. 

•   Rasmus Dahlin has recorded five assists in his last five games. His .67 points per game so far this season represent the best scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman since Brian Campbell (.68) in 2007-08.


Angry Larry 

Video: Sabres in :50 - Angry Larry

Johan Larsson showed up to practice Wednesday with a nasty cut over his right eye, evidence of the price he paid late in the win over Vegas. We had Larsson tell the story - and asked teammates to react to Larsson's reaction on the bench. 

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