Buffalo Sabres Game Preview #6 – Dallas Stars 10/14/19

Sabres Projected Lines:

Victor Olofsson – Jack Eichel – Samson Reinhart
Jeff Skinner – Marcus Johansson – Vladimir Sobotka
Jimmy Vesey – Casey Mittelstadt – Evan Rodrigues
Zemgus Girgensons – Johan Larsson – Kyle Okposo

Jake McCabe – Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin – Colin Miller
Marco Scandella – Henri Jokiharju

Carter Hutton

Stars Projected Lines:

Jamie Benn – Roope Hintz – Alexander Radulov
Joe Pavelski – Tyler Seguin – Jason Dickinson
Mattias Janmark – Radek Faksa – Joel L’Esperance
Andrew Cogliano – Rhett Gardner – Nick Caamano

Miro Heiskanen – John Klingberg
Esa Lindell – Andrej Sekera
Jamie Oleksiak – Joel Hanley

Ben Bishop

3 Things To Watch:

1) Breaking The Streak

The Sabres haven’t had much, if any, success versus the Stars for quite some time. Dallas swept both matchups last season, and is 8-1-0 in their last nine games facing Buffalo. If the Sabres wish to keep building on their impressive start, a record of 4-0-1, they need to put the past behind them and focus on putting the puck in the net, something they couldn’t do last season versus the Stars.

2) Containing Dallas’ Top 6

It comes as a bit of a shock to see the Stars struggling to open the 2019-20 season, considering many were projecting them to be a playoff lock. It’s still quite early, however, that’s not to say an impressive outing this afternoon by the likes of Seguin, Benn, Hintz, Pavelski and co. can’t turn things around quickly. Look for the Sabres 4th line of Girgensons-Larsson-Okposo to play a key role in this game, much like they have all season. If they can manage to shut them down, it should pay dividends.

3) Getting The Power Play Rolling

Buffalo boasts the best powerplay in the league coming into this afternoon’s game, working at a 42% efficiency rate. However, they failed to find the net Friday night versus Florida, the first time they haven’t scored a powerplay goal in a game this season. A quick powerplay goal versus the Stars today could spark a group which seems to have a killer instinct with the man advantage. Look for Victor Olofsson to tuck one home early on in this one.


Player To Watch – Buffalo

Victor Olofsson. He went pointless versus the Panthers this past Friday night, the first time that’s occured all season. With earning first line minutes and top powerplay unit ice time, and with having an elite level playmaker like Jack Eichel feeding him pucks, look out for him to get on the scoreboard this afternoon. Here’s hoping it’s more than once.

Player To Watch – Dallas

Roope Hintz. He’s one of the best up and coming young centermen in the gam today, and he’ll be on the first line today, paired with Jamie Benn and Alexader Radulov. He knows how to find the net versus the Sabres, having scored twice in two games last season. If Buffalo can’t find a way to contain him early and often, he could burn them.

Prediction:

If Buffalo can come out and control the pace of play like they have in several games this season, they have a real strong chance to push their point streak to six games. An early goal, perhaps on the powerplay, could create an offensive spark like we saw versus New Jersey. Verdict?

4-2 Sabres.

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