Recap: Stars Hold Off Sabres in Controversial Finish

The Buffalo Sabres were looking to win four straight for the first time since 2014 and win in Dallas for the first time since 2009. The Dallas Stars were trying to get back on the winning side of things heading into the All-Star break. Fans got a little bit of everything they could have asked for in this one.

The game was quick-paced and scoring chances were exchanged throughout the game. The game even ended with another questionable goal or no-goal decision. For Sabres fans, tonight might have brought back some memories to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final with Brett Hull. On the other side of the coin, Stars fans were happy to see their team head into the break on a good note.

First Period

The Sabres got off to a quick start against the Stars tonight. Evander Kane scored his 13th of the season using his speed to get by John Klingberg and drive the net to get the scoring started. Less than six minutes later, Matt Moulson notched his 10th goal of the season on the power play on another rush started by Kane to put the Sabres up by two goals less than 10 minutes into the game.

The Stars started to get their feet moving in the second half of the period. Patrick Sharp cut the lead in half with his fifth of the season on a screen shot that Anders Nilsson never saw. The speed of the Stars gave the Sabres fits and caused them to take three penalties in the period. The power plays allowed the home team to run up the shot total to 17 in the opening period, seven of which came with the man-advantage.

Second Period

After giving up two goals on five shots in the first period Antti Niemi was given the hook to start the second period and replaced by Kari Lehtonen. Luckily for Lehtonen, he didn’t see much rubber, as the second period belonged to the Stars. Jamie Benn tied the game with his 13th of the season on a power play that carried over from the first period. After peppering Nilsson with shots for the majority of the period, Sharp scored his second of the game to give the Stars their first lead of the game. Less than two minutes later, Tyler Seguin got credit for his 18th of the season thanks to a Cody Franson own-goal to give the Stars a two-goal lead.

With just over a minute left in the period, Kane picked up his second of the game by throwing a puck to the net that got past Lehtonen to pull the Sabres back within one. The shot attempts and shots through two periods were heavily in the Stars’ favor. Dallas led in shots on goal 35-11, but continued struggles in the Dallas goal allowed the Sabres to stick around to begin the third.

Third Period

Like the second period belonged to the Stars, the third period was all Buffalo. The Sabres pushed hard throughout the period, coming close to tying the game and in fact, it appeared they tied the game on two different occasions.

Sam Reinhart put a backhand shot on Lehtonen that the goaltender struggled to hang onto before falling into the net. Unfortunately for the Sabres, you don’t see the puck cross the goal line, but when the Lehtonen gets up, the puck is laying inside the net across the goal line. After a lengthy review, the referees ruled no goal, but we weren’t done with goal reviews.

With 11 seconds left in the third period, it looked as though the Sabres might have scored again to tie the game. With both teams in the locker room thinking the game was over, the officials reviewed the play. After another lengthy review, the referees, with help from the war room in Toronto, ruled no goal again and the game was over.

It’s an unfortunate loss for the Sabres, but they had a two-goal lead in the game. The Stars brought the pressure in the second period, which ultimately propelled the home team to the victory and left the Sabres still winless in Dallas since 2009.


Scoring Summary


BUF – Evander Kane (13) unassisted

BUF – Matt Moulson (10) assisted by Evander Kane and Brian Gionta

DAL – Patrick Sharp (5) assisted by John Klingberg and Lauri Korpikoski


DAL – Jamie Benn PPG (13) assisted by Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves

DAL – Patrick Sharp (6) assisted by Devin Shore

DAL – Tyler Seguin (18) unassisted

BUF – Evander Kane (14) unassisted



THW Three Stars

First: Patrick Sharp (2 G)

Second: Evander Kane (2 G, 1A)

Third: Jamie Benn ( 1 G)

Next Up

Buffalo Sabres at Montreal Canadiens

Bell Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST (Tuesday, Jan. 31)

Broadcast channels: MSG-B, TVAS & Sportsnet

2016-17 Season Series: Oct. 13 – Canadiens 4, Sabres 1 | Jan. 21 – Sabres 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

Next Up

Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars

American Airlines Arena – 8:30 p.m. EST (Tuesday, Jan. 31)

Broadcast channel: FS-SW & SNO

2016-17 Season Series: None