Michael Raffl scored two goals to end a 16-game streak of goallessness. Jake Oettinger saved 38 shots as the Dallas Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-2.
Raffl scored the first goal of the game midway through the period. It was his first since Jan. 6. He added his sixth goal of the season in the second period. This was Raffl’s third consecutive multi-goal game, in 560 NHL games.
Raffl stated, “Scoring goals always feels nice.” “It’s more satisfying to win,” Raffl said.
Stars Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz also scored, as they have points in seven of nine of their last nine games (6-2-1). Edmonton and Dallas have 61 points, and they are tied for second in the Western Conference’s wild card race.
Rick Bowness, Stars coach, said that although we have not done much yet, he would rather see them in the eighth or ninth spot than the ninth or tenth.
Cody Eakin stopped a 33-game streak of goalless games. Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres. They are currently 0-6-0 in six of their last six games, and they are heading for their 11th consecutive season of not qualifying to the playoffs. Craig Anderson, a forty-year-old, stopped 27 shots.
Don Granato, Sabres coach, said that it was a challenge to overcome frustration. “I can’t say I’m not frustrated but I can’t act frustrated. Big difference.”
Raffl, who was signed last July as a free agent, deflected Radek Faksa’s shot just beyond the right circle to score the game’s first goal, at 15:43 in the first period. After Anderson had stopped Tyler Seguin’s shot, Raffl scored at 16:16 in the second period. He took a second effort shot at the crease and made it 3-1.
Dallas was 2-0 ahead at 6:34 in the second period. Hintz beat Anderson on the doorstep to score his team-high 23rd goal. Joe Pavleski assisted by a pass from one of the corner boards.
Gurianov deflected an Esa Lindell shot at 8:56 in the third period. There were 5 seconds remaining on a power play.
Thompson scored at 8:23 in the second period on a wrister from his right circle to bring the Sabres within 2 goals. This was his eighth goal in eight games.
Eakin, who had five seasons in Dallas before moving to Vegas in 2017’s expansion draft, made a 17-foot wrister at 14 minutes 02 of the third period. This was Eakin’s fourth goal of this season, and his first since Nov. 26.
Raffl had his buzz cut from Dallas’ previous games so teammates covered him with their helmets. He was forced to wear his helmet for warmups. He suffered a concussion while playing the last time he tried that.
Raffl stated, “Ever since then I put my bucket back on.” “Today, I had to. I didn’t show weakness. It was a frightening moment for me to walk out there.
LATE TO THE SHOW
In the first 9 1/2 minutes of the game, the Sabres were outshot by 9-0 and 18-6 respectively. The Stars were outshot 24-5 by the Sabres in the third period, putting them ahead of the Stars by 40 shots.
Granato stated, “It took us awhile to figure out how we could play.”
HOME SWEET HOME
Oettinger is currently 14-3-0 at home and 21-4-5 in the NHL. He was his sixth consecutive start, and he was the 10th Dallas player to make it this far.
Thompson said that Oettinger was “really athletic” and shared the same nickname. He is quick to get the ball across the net.
After being struck between the legs by Seguin’s stick, Sabres defenseman Rasmus D Dahlin fell behind the Buffalo net in the second period. Dahlin was helped to his bench, but didn’t miss any shift. Pavelski has scored 20 points in the last 18 games, and 898 total career points. Thomas Harley, a Dallas rookie defenseman, was the secondary assist to Hintz’s goal for Hintz’s first NHL point. Henri Jokiharju, Buffalo defenseman, was forced to miss his second consecutive game due to a lower-body injury.
Sabres: Wednesday, Toronto to finish a five-game season-long trip.
Stars: Los Angeles hosts the event on Wednesday.