Previewing game 50 vs. Dallas Stars

Mar 9, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) looks to make a
Mar 9, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) looks to make a / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres are back in action as they will host the Dallas Stars tonight to kick off the second half of their season. This will be the first time we see the Sabres play since January 27th when they beat the San Jose Sharks. Just like Buffalo, Dallas is playing their first game after the break as well, so both teams will be fresh.

Before we get to the preview, here some updates from the morning skate. According to Lance Lysowski, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks like he will get the start against Dallas as Jake Oettinger is expected to start for the Stars. UPL had a fantastic month of January, as he went 5-3-0 with great numbers, according to Sabres.com. Luukkonen will look to start off the second half strong against a very good Stars team.

The Sabres also confirmed that both Erik Johnson and Zemgus Girgensons are expected to be back in the lineup. Having Johnson back is good considering Mattias Samuelsson will be out for the remainder of the season after getting surgery. Even though Jack Quinn will be out of the lineup for a while, it's helpful to see Buffalo getting some bodies back.

As for the game itself, it's going to be far from easy for Buffalo. Dallas is playing really good hockey as they sit second in the Central Division with a record of 30-13-6 which equals 66 points. if they win tonight vs. Buffalo, they will be tied for first place with the Colorado Avalanche.

If the Sabres want to pull off the upset, here are my keys. First, the power play. When given the chance to have the extra man, Buffalo needs to capitalize. Especially against a very good team, take advantage of it whenever you can. Another key, Buffalo CANNOT fall behind early.

It's been a issue this year where the Sabres will find themselves in an early hole early in the game. Going behind 2-0 Dallas will not be good if they have any chance to win this game, so don't start off losing 2-0 or 3-0.

While I don't think Buffalo wins tonight, it would be a huge boost of confidence for them as well as a great way to start the second half by beating one of the NHL's best teams.

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