(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars opened this season with four straight wins, but the club has fallen on hard times recently. Marc Crawford's club will try to end a three-game slide tonight, when the Stars welcome the Buffalo Sabres to American Airlines Center.
Since going 4-0 out of the gate, Dallas has managed just one win in its last five games (1-4-0). Both of the Stars' last two setbacks have come by identical 5-2 scores.
The Stars, who are 2-3-0 overall in Dallas, are 0-3-0 so far on a six-game homestand and the most recent setback came Thursday night against Los Angeles. Wayne Simmonds and Willie Mitchell each had a goal and an assist to lead the Kings to the victory.
Brandon Segal and Brad Richards each had a goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen was charged with four goals on 15 shots and was pulled late in the third for Andrew Raycroft, who stopped all eight shots he faced.
The Stars played their last game without defenseman Stephane Robidas, who served a one-game suspension for boarding Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey in a loss on Tuesday. Robidas is expected to be back on the ice tonight.
Dallas has struggled in recent years against the Sabres, losing five straight and six of the last seven games in this series. Buffalo has won two of three on the road against the Stars, but still has seven losses in its last 10 trips to Big D.
After losing a tough overtime game in Atlanta on Friday, the Sabres will try to avoid a third straight loss when they cap a four-game road trip tonight.
Derek Roy forced overtime by scoring on Atlanta's Chris Mason with just 7.3 seconds left in regulation, but Dustin Byfuglien scored the game-winning goal on a dazzling end-to-end rush with 29 seconds remaining in OT to lead the Thrashers to a 4-3 win at Philips Arena.
"It was a nice shot.(Byfuglien) has lots of speed," said Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. "I didn't see how he wanted to set it up. He just let the puck go. He had a long time to make a decision."
Tim Connolly and Jordan Leopold both tallied in the first period for the Sabres, while Miller stopped 18 shots in defeat.
Sabres captain Craig Rivet was a healthy scratch in Friday's game and was replaced in the lineup by fellow defenseman Shaone Morrisonn, who returned to the lineup after missing six games with a groin injury. It's unclear if Rivet will be back on the ice tonight.
Buffalo is 3-2-1 as the road club this year and, following tonight's test, will return home for its next two games, beginning with Wednesday's battle against the rival Boston Bruins.