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Stars-Sabres Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars
Thursday, January 26
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-20-10) lost 3-2 in a shootout to Minnesota at American Airlines Center Tuesday. It was the second straight game the Stars went beyond regulation against one of the top teams in the league but could get only one point out of the game.

"It's definitely frustrating," said Stars captain Jamie Benn. "We're giving ourselves a chance to win these games and not coming out with the results. I think we have to stay positive around here, stick with it, stick to the game plan because it's working. We are playing an okay game, and sooner or later we will get a result."

The Stars, who fell to 2-10 in games that have gone beyond regulation this season, are 1-3-2 in their past six games and 3-6-3 over the past twelve.

Thursday's game will take Dallas into the NHL's All-Star break.

Injuries: C Radek Faksa (lower body) is out. D Johnny Oduya (lower body), D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About Sabres

The Sabres (20-18-9) are coming off a 5-4 overtime win in Nashville Tuesday. The Sabres scored twice late in the third to tie the game, and then Jack Eichel scored 2:35 into overtime to give Buffalo its third straight win, all of them in overtime.

"It's great to see the way we played," Eichel said. "We stuck with it for 60 minutes. We got down two goals on the road against a really good hockey team and were able to find a way to get it to overtime and win it. It says a lot about the resiliency of this team. It's nice to be a part of games like that."

The Sabres are 4-1-0 in their past five games and 7-3-1 over their past eleven. They have won four straight on the road.

Thursday's game wraps up a three-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break for Buffalo.

Injuries: D Jake McCabe (shoulder) is out. D Josh Gorges (hip), C Johan Larsson (wrist, elbow) and C Cody McCormick (blood clot) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*This is the second and final meeting between the Stars and Sabres this season.  

*The Sabres won the first meeting, 4-1, in Buffalo on Jan. 16

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 12-7-6 at home.

*The Sabres are 9-10-6 on the road.

*The Stars are 3-8-4 vs. the Eastern Conference including 1-3-1 against the Atlantic Division.

*The Sabres are 9-3-2 vs. the Western Conference including 5-2-1 against the Central Division.

*Buffalo ranks 30th in the NHL on the penalty kill at 73.9 percent.

*Dallas ranks 29th in the NHL on the penalty kill at 74.2 percent.

*Buffalo ranks 7th in the league on the power play at 22.2 percent.

*Dallas ranks 20th on the power play at 17.2 percent.

*Patrick Eaves leads Dallas with 18 goals and Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists).

*Kyle Okposo leads the Sabres in goals (15) and points (31). 

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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