Tonight’s 3-2 victory for the Dallas Stars over the Buffalo Sabres was an important milestone for coach Lindy Ruff. Ruff now has 600 wins as a coach, and it came against the team he coached for 16 seasons. In their first game without Ryan Miller and Steve Ott, the Sabres looked to extend a three-game winning streak, but the Stars were too much in the end.
The Dallas power play finally ended its long goal drought on the fifth Stars’ power play of the night. Who better than to end that drought than Alex Chiasson? Chiasson had been held scoreless in the last 12 games and seemed desperate to end that streak. Although his goal was mostly the work of Jamie Benn, it’s the sort of flukey goal that can energize a player.
Sabres’ goaltender Jhonas Enroth played brilliantly for Buffalo and was the biggest reason why the score wasn’t much higher for the Stars. From start to finish, Enroth made highlight-quality saves that clearly frustrated Dallas.
Turnovers also contributed to some of the Stars’ troubles. The Sabres capitalized on these mistakes throughout the game, using it to create rushes and scoring chances. Tyler Ennis eventually scored on a lazy play at the offensive blue line by the Stars’ Jordie Benn to take the lead for Buffalo in the first period. Fortunately, Benn made up for his error with a bomb from the blue line to tie the game in the second period.
The game also featured some shake-ups in lines for Dallas, including Ray Whitney playing top line minutes. This was more than likely the Stars trying to showcase Whitney, who has been mentioned in trade rumors over the past few weeks. It made for some awkward plays, but if Whitney is still in Dallas after Wednesday, he will surely go back to his usual spot on the fourth line.