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Sabres Eliminated With 3-2 Loss to the Stars



Buffalo Sabres Dallas Stars game recap

The nail in the coffin is here, as the Buffalo Sabres will not qualify for the playoffs after losing 3-2 to the Dallas Stars. The Sabres held the lead twice in the game, but the Stars proved why they’re one of the best teams in the NHL. It wasn’t a high-shooting affair for both sides, but the dangerous chances favored Dallas and gave the Stars the comeback victory.

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The Sabres opened the scoring in the first period with a Henri Jokiharju point shot that deflected off Alex Tuch’s shinpad. Jason Robertson tied things up as he deflected Roope Hintz’s shot-pass mid-air into the back of the net. Mason Marchment appeared to give the Stars the lead, but his deflection was determined to be with a high stick, keeping the game even.

The Sabres established the lead again 9:38 into the first. Rasmus Dahlin’s no-look shot looked innocent but resulted in a goal as it slipped through Jake Oettinger’s pads and into the net.

Wyatt Johnston was able to tie the game up again in the second period on a backhand from the slot. Joe Pavelski followed it up with a deflection from the slot that went past Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and turned out to be the game-winner.

Impact Players

The Stars’ star players were the most impactful against the Sabres. Johnston notched his team-leading 32nd goal of the season. The top line of Robertson, Hintz, and Pavelski took care of the other two.

The most noticeable line for Buffalo was Zach Benson, Dylan Cozens, and Jack Quinn. Their play didn’t result in any goals, but they sustained the most zone time and had the best scoring opportunities, per Evolving-Hockey.

The Difference

Depth. The Dallas Stars are a much deeper team than the Sabres and have three quality scoring lines. On top of that, every line got to the front of the net and created traffic in front of Luukkonen.

Two of Dallas’ three goals were deflections, and Marchment’s overturned goal was also a deflection.

What’s Next

The Sabres head home to face the Washington Capitals in the final game at KeyBank Center this season. It’s fan appreciation night, which comes at a tough time with Buffalo freshly eliminated from the playoff race. There are a few silver linings to celebrate, including how the team picked things up since the turn of the new year.

Buffalo Hockey Now will have a special video release on Wednesday morning that you won’t want to miss, so be on the lookout for that.