The Morning Skate: Suddenly potent Sabres host Stars

The Buffalo Sabres offense was there in October but has been nothing but a face on a milk carton in the months since. Finally, as the team has begun to find some footing, the offense seems to be coming back to life.

Two late, unanswered goals in New York led the Sabres to a shootout victory and they followed that performance with a six-goal barrage against Boston on Wednesday. If this is the type of offensive attack the team will be coming with for the foreseeable future the likelihood of piecing a run together is much better.

Dallas comes to Buffalo after a 4-2 win in Columbus last night. Kari Lehtonen played against the Blue Jackets yesterday and has played the lion’s share of play for the Stars as of late. A non-conference game on the back half of a road back-to-back series would be a good opportunity to play Richard Bachman. However, Dallas is in a position where they need every point available and I’d expect Lehtonen to be back in net tonight.

The Sabres will get Thomas Vanek back in the lineup tonight but where he will play remains a mystery. I’d be apprehensive to take Ville Leino away from Derek Roy and Jason Pominville. Reuniting Leino and Ennis wouldn’t be all bad, but the production of Leino, Roy and Pominville cannot be broken up.

Highlighted Matchup

Thomas Vanek. Prior to missing time with injury, Vanek was experiencing his first slump of the season. I wonder if his injury had lingered prior to the hit that forced him out of the lineup. If Vanek could find the scoring touch that had been so consistent earlier in the season, the Sabres would have two lines capable of scoring on a regular basis.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Ryan Miller

DAL: Kari Lehtonen

Last Meeting

Sabres 0 – Stars 4, American Airlines Arena, 10/30/2011

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