Bolstered by the recent additions of forwards Max Domi and Evgenii Dadonov, the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars flexed their four-line offensive muscle in a 10-4 rout of the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Jamie Benn and Mason Marchment had a goal and two assists each, and Radek Faksa scored twice in a game the Stars enjoyed their best offensive output in 14 years.
Dadonov, Joe Pavelski, Joel Kiviranta, rookie Wyatt Johnston, Roope Hintz and Ryan Suter also scored on a night Dallas had all but two of 18 skaters earn at least a point. Jake Oettinger stopped 25 shots and Dallas improved to 5-1-1 in its past seven and 4-0-1 in its past five road games.
“Everyone’s doing their part. You can’t just rely on Roope’s line every night,” Benn said. “We need guys pitching in. And we had a good effort tonight.”
Suter credited GM Jim Nill for bringing in Dadonov (acquired in a trade with Montreal) and Domi (Chicago) for upgrading the Stars before the NHL trade deadline.
“I think Jim’s done a great job putting pieces together to complement each other,” Suter said. “And like he said a couple of days ago, now all he can do is watch and it’s up to us to perform.”
The extra depth could prove necessary after forward Tyler Seguin did not return when he was cut along the left leg after getting tangled up with Buffalo’s Jordan Greenway 11 minutes into the first period. Seguin was spotted walking on crutches with his left leg heavily wrapped following the game.
Coach Peter DeBoer declined to provide the severity of the injury except to say: “He got stitched up. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
The Sabres have dropped five of six to find themselves sliding out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and in jeopardy of extending their NHL-record playoff drought to a 12th consecutive season.
Jeff Skinner and Greenway had a goal and assist each, and Kyle Okposo and Victor Olofsson also scored. Eric Comrie stopped 39 shots in having a four-game winning streak snapped.
Coach Don Granato acknowledged Buffalo showed signs of frustration, which was a carryover from a disappointing 3-2 loss at the New York Islanders two night earlier.
“That didn’t look like our team. We weren’t sharp,” Granato said. “I didn’t feel our confidence was there at the start. We were a little hesitant at times.”
This marked the sixth straight outing in which the Stars have scored at least four times, including a 5-4 loss to Calgary on Monday.
Their 10 goals are tied for second-most in a game in franchise history, and most since a 10-2 win over the New York Rangers on Feb. 2, 2009. Dallas also matched a franchise record for most goals in a road game set two previous times when the Stars were based in Minnesota.
Dallas took advantage of numerous Sabres miscues in building a 3-0 lead with 35 seconds left in the first period when Pavelski and Benn scored 18 seconds apart. Though Greenway scored 10 seconds later, the Stars dominated a second period in which they scored twice and out-shot Buffalo 18-5.
The turning point came midway through the second period when Okposo sneaked in a shot past Oettinger to cut Dallas’ lead to 4-2 at the 9:51 mark. The Stars answered 47 seconds later when Suter capped a 2-on-1 break by converting Marchment’s rebound in front.
The game turned into a rout in the third period. After Skinner scored 3:49 in to cut the Stars lead to 5-3, Dallas scored four unanswered goals over a span of 3:03.
Stars: Continue six-game road trip with consecutive games at the Seattle Kraken on Saturday and Monday.
Sabres: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday.