NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (18-34-8) at Dallas Stars (28-22-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres have moved on from their franchise
netminder, but have still managed to post their longest winning streak of the
The Sabres get another blast from the past on Monday night when they battle
former head coach Lindy Ruff and the Dallas Stars for the second time this
Sitting last in the NHL standings, the Sabres pulled off a five-play trade
with the St. Louis Blues on Friday, swapping goaltender Ryan Miller and
captain Steve Ott for netminder Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart and
prospect William Carrier. Buffalo also received a 2015 first-round pick and
conditional third-round selection in 2016 from the Blues.
Miller ended his Buffalo tenure as a former Vezina Trophy winner and with a
franchise-high 284 wins.
It's quite a coincidence then that Buffalo will face the longest-tenured head
coach in team history in Ruff, who served as the bench boss for the Sabres
from 1997-2013 before getting fired on Feb. 20 of last year.
Ruff made a return trip to Buffalo on Oct. 28 and the Stars won a 4-3 contest.
The Sabres have still won six of the previous eight meetings, but have just
three victories in their last 11 trips to Dallas.
Not long after dealing Miller and Ott, the Sabres came out and topped the San
Jose Sharks 4-2. Tyler Myers had a goal and two assists, while Cody Hodgson
supplied a power-play goal. Brian Flynn and Matt Moulson supplied Buffalo's
other two goals.
Jhonas Enroth made 36 saves in Buffalo's season-high third straight win. He
has been in net for two of those and has a chance to grab the starting job in
There are reports that the Sabres may trade Halak, a pending free agent,
before Wednesday's deadline.
"If you don't call this a chance then I don't know what a chance is," Enroth
said after Friday's win. "But I'm not going to try and put too much pressure
on this moment and just try and be myself and stay professional. Just try and
play the best I can.
"I truly believe I can be a No. 1 guy here."
Buffalo is looking to win four straight for the first time since a five-game
run from March 19-27, 2012.
The Stars had a six-game point streak snapped on Saturday with a 4-2 loss to
the Tampa Bay Lightning. Antoine Roussel and Vernon Fiddler both had a goal
and an assist, while Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 21 shots.
"We needed to fight back, and we did," said Ruff. "We hunkered down, and went
to work. When it was 3-2, we had two or three unbelievable opportunities to
tie it up."
The Stars had been 4-0-2 in their previous six games and are tied with the
Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks for the second wild card spot in the
Western Conference with 66 points.
03/03 10:26:38 ET