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Stars-Sabres Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars


Monday March 23, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (34-28-10) defeated Chicago 4-0 at American Airlines Center Saturday. Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 shots for his fifth shutout of the season for the Stars, who won for the fifth time in their last six games.

“[My confidence level is] pretty good," Lehtonen said. “It was a good game against a great team. It was fun out there for me and for everybody.”

The Stars are 7-2-0 in their past nine games but haven’t been able to gain much ground on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With Winnipeg winning as well on Saturday, the Stars remain eight points out of the final spot with ten games remaining.

“We put ourselves in a tough spot,” Ruff said. “That chase is going to be agonizing. We've just got to take care of our own end. We can't do anything about Winnipeg winning. Our responsibility is to just take it a game at a time and be ready to win games.”

Monday’s game wraps up a four-game homestand for the Stars, who are 2-1-0 in the first three contests.

Injuries: D Trevor Daley (lower body), LW Travis Moen (upper body) and RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) are out.

About the Sabres

The Sabres (20-44-7) lost 3-0 at Nashville Saturday. The game was scoreless until late in the second when Nashville’s Taylor Beck scored on the power play. The Predators added two more goals in the third period.

"They're a very good team," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "For us to keep battling and fight through and do what we did, especially in that third period, we had a number of scoring chances. We hit the goal post twice and [Tyler Ennis] had a couple of breakaways, so I can't fault these guys for the effort for sure."

Matt Hackett stopped 40 of 43 shots for the Sabres, who are 1-7-2 in their past ten games.

Monday’s game wraps up a two-game road trip for the Sabres.

Injuries: D Zach Bogosian (lower body) is questionable. C Zemgus Girgensons (lower body), D Josh Gorges (lower body), RW Patrick Kaleta (lower body), G Chad Johnson (lower body), C Cody McCormick (blood clot) and LW Evander Kane (shoulder) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Sabres won 3-2 in Buffalo on Feb. 7.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have allowed ten goals over the past six games (1.67 per game).

*The Sabres have scored eleven goals in the past nine games (1.22 per game).

*The Sabres rank 30th in the league in scoring at 1.76 goals per game.

*The Stars rank second in scoring at 3.07 per game.

*The Stars are 7-25 (28.0 percent) on the power play over the past eight games.

*The Stars are 26-29 (89.7 percent) on the penalty kill over the past eleven games.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 5-1-0 in his past six starts with a 1.50 goals-against average and .940 save percentage.

*Sabres goaltender Anders Lindback is 1-4-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .930 save percentage since being acquired from Dallas in February.

*The Stars are 9-1-1 in their past eleven games vs. the Eastern Conference.

*The Stars are 18-11-2 vs. the East this season.

*Buffalo is 6-16-1 vs. the Western Conference this season.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com 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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