The 4-0-1 Buffalo Sabres take on the 1-3-1 Dallas Stars this evening.
Before the Sabres head out on a 3 game west coast road trip, they have a home game against the Dallas Stars. While the Stars do have some big names, outside of their first line they don’t pose a giant threat to Buffalo, here’s where Dallas will challenge the Sabres.
The first line for Dallas is stacked with talent. Including Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov and Jamie Benn, the Stars first line is ranked #9 in all of hockey by Corsica Hockey. This line will certainly get into the Buffalo zone and put a lot of pressure on the Buffalo defense and Carter Hutton.
The first offensive line isn’t the only line that will cause issues for Buffalo. Dallas’s first defensive pairing with Esa Lindell and John Klingberg are ranked 6th in the NHL. So for the Sabres when both teams have their first units out there, it’s going to be hard to keep the puck in Dallas territory.
Fortunately for Buffalo, Dallas doesn’t have great depth. If the Sabres can contain the first units, they should be able to take advantage of a really weak 3rd and 4th line for Dallas.
To start the year the Sabres have looked exceptionally well in the third and fourth lines. The Sabres fourth line nicknamed “the Roaring 20’s” with Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo single handily won the Sabres most recent game against Florida.
The third line unfortunately is not at full strength. The injury to Conor Sheary does make it harder for the third line to score. Still look for Evan Rodrigues and company to get some good shot opportunities.
While the Sabres will have good opportunities to score on the deeper Dallas lines, expect the Dallas first line to keep it a close game.