Note: This story was written by Sabres 101's Lea Natalello.
As if the Buffalo Sabres needed to add any more intrigue to tonight's game against the Dallas Stars (7 p.m., MSG), the blue and gold certainly have made the game more interesting in the last 24 hours.
The game already was going to be the first for former coach Lindy Ruff against his former club, and the first game for Sabres captain Steve Ott against his old team. But Matt Moulson is also set to make his Sabres debut after being acquired Sunday night from the New York Islanders for Thomas Vanek. Moulson is a three-time 30-goal scorer who could instantly bring some punch to Buffalo's top line.
Ott – who became the Sabres' full-time captain with Vanek's departure – will be playing his old team for the first time. He played nine seasons with the Dallas Stars. While on that team, he scored 94 goals.
But Ruff's return will grab the most headlines tonight, as he will enter the First Niagara Center for the first time ever as an opponent. Ruff played 10 seasons with the Sabres and then went on to become their head coach. As a coach, Lindy Ruff led the Sabres to their best season in history. In
2005-06, he won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year in the NHL and was nominated again the following season. He's also the team's all-time winningest coach.
Without these storylines, this game actually isn't that interesting. Both the Sabres (2-10-1) and Stars (4-5-1) are last in their divisions, giving Buffalo a rare level playing field. Alex Chaisson (five) and Tyler Seguin (four) lead the Stars in goals, while Jamie Benn leads Dallas with 11 points.
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