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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, January 24th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (20-21-6) at Dallas Stars (28-19-5), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Sabres are currently riding a franchise-worst road losing streak and still have five games left on their current road trip. Buffalo will try to halt that skid in Dallas tonight, as it takes on the Stars at American Airlines Center.

The Sabres have dropped eight straight on the road, breaking the club's previous record of seven in a row set from January 10-February 3, 1996.

Buffalo has the lost the first two games of its current seven-game trip, a season long, and is 8-13-4 as the road club this year. The Sabres continue the trek on Tuesday after the All-Star break in Tampa Bay.

After a setback in Toronto on Saturday, the Sabres were handled by Phoenix, 6-2, on Monday. Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford tallied for the Sabres, who have also lost 12 of their last 13 overall, a stretch that includes a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak.

Jocelyn Thibault, making only his sixth start of the season, yielded six goals on 33 shots for Buffalo, which hasn't posted a victory on the road since December 22 in Philadelphia.

Ryan Miller has handled the bulk of the work in net for Buffalo, going 18-17-5 with a 2.53 goals-against average in 42 games (41 starts) this year. He is 1-5-4 over his last 11 starts despite allowing two goals or fewer in seven of those games.

Miller has never faced Dallas in his career.

Dallas wraps a four-game homestand tonight, and after winning the first two tests of that stand, the Stars were defeated by Columbus, 4-2, on Tuesday. Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott each had a goal for Dallas, which had a three- game winning streak broken.

Morrow netted a goal in his third straight game, giving him four in that span.

Mike Smith gave Marty Turco the game off between the pipes and stopped 26- of-29 shots in defeat. Turco is 19-10-4 with a 2.41 GAA in 36 games this year and 1-2-0 with a 3.61 GAA in four career starts versus Buffalo.

Sergei Zubov was one of four players to miss Tuesday's game and will now sit out the All-Star contest due to a groin injury. Mike Ribeiro, who has a team high 22 goals, 32 assists and 54 points on the season, was added in his place. Ribeiro has five helpers in his last four games.

Jussi Jokinen (left leg), Philippe Boucher (shoulder surgery) and Jere Lehtinen (sports hernia surgery) also missed the contest. Jokinen hasn't played since December 29 and is questionable for tonight, while Boucher and Lehtinen are both on injured reserve.

Dallas, still a point up on Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, is 15-8-2 at home this year and begins a three-game road trip in Vancouver on Tuesday after the break.

Buffalo is visiting Dallas for the first time since a 3-0 Stars win on March 31, 2003. The Sabres have won two straight since that meeting against the Stars, including a win on December 14, 2005 -- the most recent encounter.

01/24 10:52:22 ET

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