Sabres Booed Off The Ice In 7-1 Loss
BUFFALO — Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn caught one of his teammates reaching for an extra chicken wing in the locker room after Saturday’s game.
“Easy,” Benn said. “We’re only on game 48.”
The Stars continued their midseason push into playoff positioning by closing out a four-game road trip with a 7-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Mattias Janmark had two goals and an assist, Esa Lindell added a goal and two assists, Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa each had a goal and an assist, and Remi Elle also scored for the Stars, who return home after going 3-0-1 on the road.
“It’s a battle every game and every day in this league,” said Benn, who extended his point streak to seven games. “It seems we’ve been playing pretty good hockey as of late and I think we are still only seventh in the conference.”
The Stars regrouped from a 2-1 shootout loss in Columbus on Thursday night to match their season-high scoring total.
“You want to be a team that can bounce back,” Janmark said. “I think all good teams do after losses. So it’s a good sign that we were able to.”
John Klingberg, the NHL leader in defenseman scoring, tallied three assists and Jason Spezza had two. Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves for Dallas.
“This was a huge road trip for us with how the division is right now,” Klingberg said. “We’ve got confidence and we’re just trying to build more confidence. It’s huge to get contributions from up and down the lineup.”
The Sabres lost for the seventh time in eight games and were booed off the ice after the second and third periods in their most-lopsided defeat of the season.
“They came to work and we didn’t,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said.
Housley called the effort on home ice “very disappointing and quite embarrassing.”
“You can only send a message in so many ways,” Housley said. “It comes down to individuals on the team, they have to make a decision to play the right way, and when teams push, we have to respond with a better push.”
Sam Reinhart scored Buffalo’s goal. Robin Lehner stopped 15 shots before being replaced by Chad Johnson (10 saves) after allowing a fourth goal midway through the second period.
Elie gave the Stars a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game when he knocked in the rebound from Janmark’s shot after Lehner made a diving save. Janmark scored off the rebound on a power play to make it 2-0 late in the third period.
Janmark got his second goal of the game and 12th of the season when he beat Lehner on a partial breakaway up the left side early in the second period.
Reinhart scored the Sabres’ first goal on a power play midway through the second period. Jack Eichel assisted on the goal, extending his point streak to five games. Eichel, Buffalo’s lone All-Star, has 10 goals and 10 assists in his last 14 games.
Benn responded for Dallas 38 seconds later, deflecting Klinberg’s long shot into the net for his 19th of the year and chasing Lehner.
“It’s always nice when they score and you can go out on the next shift and get one back,” Benn said. “It’s important to turn that momentum around.”
Goals from Lindell and Faksa extended the Stars’ lead later in the second period. Tyler Ptlick tipped in Klingberg’s shot for the seventh goal around the halfway mark of the third period.
NOTES: Stars F Martin Hanzal went to the dressing room in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. … The Stars scratched F Martin Hanzal after he fell into the boards during practice on Friday. … The Sabres recalled F Nicholas Baptiste from the minors on Friday. Baptiste was scratched, along with D Nathan Beaulieu (illness) and D Victor Antipin (illness). … The Stars are 9-2-1 against Buffalo since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Stars: Host Florida on Tuesday to open three-game homestand.
Sabres: Start three-game road trip at Calgary on Monday night.