The Buffalo Sabres return to home ice without captain Jack Eichel as they face off against the Dallas Stars at KeyBank Center at 7 p.m.
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Sabres and the Stars after the first matchup was a game of goaltending. Both netminders had nearly 30 saves, and Ben Bishop walked away with the shutout, leaving Jamie Benn’s mid-first period goal as the game-winner.
Buffalo will be without Eichel as he serves his first of a two-game suspension for his high hit on Carl Soderberg in a very rough game against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Sabres have a history of stepping up in Eichel’s absence, scoring 10 goals in three games during his absence in January after suffering an upper-body injury. Buffalo needs to step up on the back end as well if they hope to win, giving up 20 goals and allowing 191 shots in the last five games (4.00 GAA, .895 SV%)
Dallas will be coming out hot as they continue to fight for their playoff spot, only one, two, and three points ahead of the closest teams behind them in the Wild Card race out west.
Dallas has been on a tear lately, winning four of their last five, highlighted by strong play from Bishop as well, earning NHL 2nd Star of the Week honors last week with two shutouts and only allowing two goals on 98 shots during that week (0.67 GAA, 0.980 SV%).