It feels like forever ago that the Buffalo Sabres were on top of the world with ten wins in a row. The question back then was more along the lines of what seed they were going to earn in the playoffs. We’re going to have to wait for that playoff thing, because the Sabres went on a steady downslope since putting up a nice looking mirage. It looked like this was finally going to be the season that put the Sabres into contention, or at the very least, go to the playoffs for the first time in the Jack Eichel era.
And Eichel has no blame in the Sabres failing to reach the playoffs this season. He’s been great and has taken strides this season at becoming the clear leader of the Sabres. Eichel leads the team with 72 points. The next closest Sabre, Jeff Skinner, has 58 points thus far this season.
Skinner does lead the team in goals with 36. After Eichel, Skinner, and Sam Reinhart, depth has developed into an issue for the Sabres. Their next top point-getter, Rasmus Ristolainen, has a terrible -34 +/-. Jason Pominville is the only player on the Sabres’ roster that has a +/- above 0, so there are glaring problems, notably defensively that they must address in the offseason.
The Sabres are still statistically alive when it comes to the playoffs, but down 10 points at this point is pretty much a death sentence. It’s been a slow, painful death for Buffalo after the first-half of the season showcased some promise. Conversely, the Dallas Stars have a lot to play for this evening. They are in the midst of a playoff race, as they hope to at least secure a wildcard. That may come in the final week of the regular season.
The Stars enter with 75 points, as they lead the Wild and Coyotes by 1 and 2 points. The Wild are currently in possession of the second wildcard. It’s likely going to be just out or in for the Stars this season. They’ve struggled on the road this season, but can’t allow it to rear its ugly head in a winnable game against the Sabres. Get our free Stars vs. Sabres pick below.
Dallas Stars vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick
Andrei Vasilevskiy and Frederik Andersen are the front runners for the Vezina, especially Vasilevskiy after what happened last night, but Ben Bishop should definitely be getting more attention now. Bishop and Robin Lehner of the Islanders have both been worthy of getting into discussions. The former Lightning, Ben Bishop, is on pace to set a Stars’ single-season record and currently leads the NHL with a 2.13 GAA for netminders that have made at least 30 starts.
Bishop enters this evening on a three-game winning streak as he looks to make it four in Buffalo. He notched two shutouts and has given up just 1 goal on 89 shots in his previous three outings. His dominance against the Sabres has been well documented as well.
He owns a 11-0-1 and 1.48 GAA in 12 matchups against the Sabres in his career. That is what you call dominance over an opponent. For much of this season, Bishop has been the most dominant goaltender in the NHL. He is credited with helping the Stars have a chance at the playoffs.
As a team, the Stars are 3rd in the NHL with an average of 2.53 goals allowed per game. In their previous ten games, they’ve given up just 2.3 per game. The road hasn’t been too friendly to them this season with a record of 14-17-3, but have won two of their last three on the road and are 4-0 over their last four meetings against the Sabres.
The Sabres have lost six of their last seven games and are 2-8 in their previous ten. They have seemed to thrown in the towel up on this season. However, the Stars have everything to play for tonight in Buffalo. Bishop keeps rolling, as he leads his team to two important points on Tuesday.