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12:00 PM PT1:00 PM MT2:00 PM CT3:00 PM ET19:00 GMT3:00 12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST23:00 UAE15:00 ET16:00 BRT, October 14, 2019
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 16,595

Stars looks to rebound from recent skid vs. Sabres

Dallas Stars at Buffalo Sabres

  1. The Stars fell to the Capitals, 4-1, at home on Saturday. They have just three points through six games, their fewest since moving to Dallas, and fewest since also getting three as the North Stars in 1990-91.
  2. Like his team, Jamie Benn has been unable to get much going offensively, recording just two points (1G, 1A) so far this year. That's his fewest through his first six games in his career -- his previous low was four.
  3. Dallas has had the upper hand recently in this matchup, winning each of the last five and going 11-2-1 against Buffalo since the 2010-11 season. The last two wins have been shutouts - last time the Stars shut out an opponent three times in a row was against the Coyotes in the 2006-07 season.
  4. The Sabres are once again off to a hot start -- after a 3-2 shootout win over Florida on Friday, they have nine points through five games, tied for their third most all-time. They started 5-0-0 in 2006-07 and 1975-76.
  5. Rasmus Dahlin is tied for the team lead in points at 7 (1G, 6A) with Jack Eichel. He's one of six defensemen in the league either leading or tied for his team lead in points. As the Sabres were shut out in both games last season, he is yet to record a point against the Stars.
  6. The Sabres' power play has been particularly lethal, going 8-for-19 (42.1 percent) this season, best in the league. Dallas is just 1-for-20, worst among the 27 teams with at least one power-play goal.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

With just one victory and three points after six games, things don't get any easier for the Dallas Stars, who embark on a four-game eastern road trip that begins with a Monday afternoon matinee against the surprising Buffalo Sabres.

Dallas, which lost 2-1 in double overtime in Game 7 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis last spring, was expected to make a strong run for a Central Division title this season. But they hit the road in fifth place and in danger of digging an even bigger hole on a trip that also includes games at Columbus, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The Stars begin the trip after back-to-back home losses, 3-2 in a shootout to Calgary and 4-1 to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

"This is a big road trip for us," forward Tyler Seguin said. "I know it's going into game seven (of the season) -- don't want to say it's a playoff game -- but everyone in here including myself needs to have a playoff mentality going into this road trip. ... We're too good of a team to be playing this bad so far to start the year."

"Our urgency has got to go up because we can't continue this obviously," added forward Joe Pavelski. "We've been in position to win enough games and have a better record, but we haven't gotten it done so it hasn't been good enough. Bottom line."

Much of the focus for the Stars' struggles has been on a power play that has converted just one of 20 chances (five percent), which ranks a woeful 27th in the NHL. Dallas went 0-for-6 with the extra man in Saturday's loss to the Capitals, but head coach Jim Montgomery said that was just one of the team's issues in the loss.

"We weren't a threat," Montgomery said. "Didn't win faceoffs. Didn't win any battles. Didn't win any loose-puck battles. The puck was never inside the dots. If you never threaten inside the dots, you're not going to have success. It all starts with the compete. We just didn't compete hard enough, power play (or) five-on-five."

Next up for the Stars is a game against the Atlantic Division-leading Sabres who are off to their best start (4-0-1, nine points) to open a season since 2009-10.

Buffalo is 3-0-0 at home with wins over New Jersey (7-2), Montreal (5-4 in OT) and Florida, a 3-2 shootout win on Friday night.

Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt both scored in the shootout and Linus Ullmark, who had 41 saves in the contest, stopped both shots he faced to earn the Sabres two points despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the third period. Florida's Mike Hoffman sent the contest into overtime with a goal with just 10.9 seconds to go.

"Overall, really pleased with the calmness on the bench as we headed into overtime," said Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger. "The belief that we could still win, the lack of disappointment in that late goal is what really sticks with me at the moment."

"We know that when we stick to our game plan, we win," Ullmark told NHL.com. "We play a very good hockey game. Are we going to win every game? Probably not, but we have a very good opportunity to do it as long as we stick to the process and stick with our game plan."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 14, 2019

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