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Stars-Sabres Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Buffalo Sabres

Monday October 28
6:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (4-5-1) are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Winnipeg at American Airlines Center on Saturday. The loss snapped a three game home winning streak for the Stars. The Stars will play eight of their next ten on the road, where they have lost four straight.

“We need to play a full 60 minutes and give ourselves a chance to win the hockey game,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We can’t beat ourselves, and that’s what we’ve done a few times. We played some really good teams, but we beat ourselves. We need good puck management, we need to play smart, play good defense, make simple plays and go one game at a time.”

Monday’s game will mark the first time that Stars coach Lindy Ruff will face his former team in Buffalo. Ruff coached 15 seasons in Buffalo before being dismissed early last season. He was hired by the Stars in June.

“I’m sure he’s going to have mixed emotions going back there,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “Obviously, we want to bring out a strong effort for him and we want to get a big two points to start off our road trip.”

The Stars recalled forward Travis Morin from the Texas Stars of the AHL on Sunday. Morin is insurance as several Dallas players are battling illness.

Injuries: F Ryan Garbutt is out due to suspension.

About the Sabres

The Sabres (2-10-1) are coming off a 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Saturday. The Sabres had a 2-1 lead late in the game, but the Lightning scored two goals in a 1:46 span in the final six minutes to win the game, 3-2. The Sabres were trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

“It’s getting tough. Whenever you blow a lead it’s a not a good feeling,” said Sabres forward Marcus Foligno. “We had a chance to win a game and start something here, get a streak going, and it gets taken away in less than five minutes. It’s tough. You really have to play a full 60. It’s just little breakdowns.”

Sabres coach Ron Rolston sat two of his better players for a good portion of the third period of Saturday’s game.

"Cody Hodgson. He didn't play. He just didn't play," Rolston said. "[Drew] Stafford too. Your best players have to be your best players. At the end of the day, that's what is going to happen."

The Sabres made a major trade Sunday evening, shipping forward Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders in exchange for left wing Matt Moulson, New York's first-round pick in 2014 and a 2015 second-round pick.

Injuries: D Mike Weber (upper body) is out. F Patrick Kaleta and F John Scott are both out due to suspension.

Series Notes

*This is the first of two meetings between the Stars and Sabres this season.

*The Stars and Sabres did not meet last season.

*The last time the two teams met was Feb. 10, 2012 in Buffalo. The Sabres won 3-2 in a shootout.

*The Stars have not won a regular season game in Buffalo since Oct. 7, 1997 and are 0-5-2 in their last seven games in Buffalo.

*The Stars are 41-52-19 all-time against Buffalo.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have lost four straight on the road (0-4-0).

*The Sabres are winless at home this season (0-6-1).

*The Stars are 1-20 on the power play over the last five games.

*The Sabres are 1-16 on the power play over the last five games.

*The Sabres have scored two goals or fewer in 11 of their 13 games this season.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has a 0.82 goals against average and .974 save percentage over his last four games.

*Jamie Benn leads the Stars in points 11 (3 goals, 8 assists).

*Alex Chiasson leads the Stars with 5 goals.

*Cody Hodgson leads the Sabres in goals (4) and points (9).

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