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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, October 13th (All times eastern)

Dallas Stars (2-0-0-0) at Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0-0), 4 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars seek their first 3-0 start in four years this afternoon when they visit the winless Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Dallas last began a campaign with three straight victories in 1999-2000, which was also the last time they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. In 2002 the Stars tied their opener before winning the next three.

Thus far in 2003-04, Dave Tippett's club has defeated Anaheim and Nashville by a combined score of 7-2. On Saturday night in the Music City, the Stars posted a 3-1 decision over the Predators.

Antii Miettinen scored his first NHL goal to snap a third-period tie, and Marty Turco stopped 24 shots to lead Dallas to the triumph. Pierre Turgeon and Mike Modano added their first goals of the season, while defenseman Sergei Zubov chipped in two assists.

On a side note, this afternoon's match will mark the return to Buffalo for Stars forward, and former Sabres captain, Stu Barnes. Barnes spent parts of five seasons in Buffalo before being dealt to Dallas prior to last March's trade deadline. He was integral in the Sabres' run to the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, where they ultimately lost to the Stars. His goal in Game 6 of the series was the only scoring for Buffalo in the clinching loss.

The Stars will head home after today and begin a four-game set at AmericanAirlines Center Wednesday against Boston.

Buffalo, meanwhile, is searching for answers after an 0-2 start. The Sabres have opened a season with consecutive shutouts for the first time in franchise history, as they were pounded 6-0 by the visiting New York Islanders Saturday night after a 2-0 decision in Philadelphia on Thursday. Against the Isles, the Sabres managed a mere 13 shots.

The inept offensive play has continued a trend for Buffalo, which placed 25th in the NHL with only 190 goals a season ago.

Goaltender Ryan Miller made his second straight start for the Sabres and allowed six goals on 24 shots against New York. Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff is carrying three netminders on the roster, and we could see Martin Biron, who received much of the work at Sunday's practice, this evening.

The Sabres will head to the road after today, beginning a six-game trip Thursday in Edmonton.

Dallas and Buffalo split two games last season, and the Stars are 3-1-1 in the last five meetings. However, the Stars are 0-2-1 in their last three trips to Buffalo.

10/13 10:12:08 ET

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