Get your game notes: Sabres at Stars

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This evening on NBCSN, it’s the Dallas Stars hosting the Buffalo Sabres starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff could reach a major milestone tonight against the Sabres franchise that fired him. He’s just one victory away from becoming the 12th coach in NHL history to record at least the 600 career wins.

— Only two players in the NHL have at least 20 points and 100 penalty minutes and they’ll both be on the ice tonight. Chris Stewart, who the Sabres recently acquired from St. Louis as part of the Ryan Miller deal, has 26 points and 112 penalty minutes while Stars forward Antoine Roussel has recorded 21 points and 158 penalty minutes.

— Dallas is 7-2-2 in its last 11 games despite the fact that it’s only converted on one power-play opportunity in 26 tries. The Stars rank 25th in the league with a 14.4% power-play success rate.

— Buffalo’s Matt Moulson is on a five-game point streak going into tonight’s contest. That’s one contest shy of the 30-year-old forward’s career-high and the Sabres’ record for the 2013-14 campaign.

— Buffalo forward Ville Leino has played in 41 games this season, but still hasn’t found the back of the net despite scoring 19 goals in 2010-2011. Of those who have played in at least 30 games this season, only Vancouver’s Alex Burrows has netted more goals than Leino’s career-high in a previous campaign while still being goalless in 2013-14.

— If you need evidence that Miller was a vital part of Buffalo’s team, keep in mind that since the start of 2006-07, the Sabres are 248-161-53 in games where Miller was used and 51-67-20 in all other contests. He had a 2.58 GAA over that span while the rest of Buffalo’s goaltenders posted a 3.20 GAA.

— There have only been seven instances where the Sabres have led a game going into the third period in 2013-14. That’s the fewest out of any NHL team, but they are 5-0-2 in those games. The Stars have held the lead through 40 minutes far more frequently and have a commanding 20-1-2 record in that scenario. However, when it comes to overcoming a deficit going into the third period, these are two of the least successful teams in the league.

Rangers’ losing streak continues with OT defeat vs. Penguins

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The New York Rangers needed a win.

Their slow start is among the surprises early this season, as the Rangers have now lost four in a row with only one win to their record through seven games so far. They’ve had trouble scoring. Mistakes at inopportune moments have been costly.

Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, the Rangers had a brutal start and a brutal finish in a 5-4 overtime loss to their Metropolitan Division foes.

Phil Kessel scored just 43 seconds into the game, utilizing that dangerous wrist shot off the rush to beat Henrik Lundqvist top corner. By the end of one period, it was 2-0 Pittsburgh.

Despite a second-period comeback, with three goals in under three minutes, and taking the lead in the third period, the Rangers couldn’t hang on and the Penguins won in overtime.

Sidney Crosby scored a crafty tying goal with only 56 seconds remaining in regulation, waiting for the Rangers defender to touch the puck negating what would’ve likely been called a hand pass on Pittsburgh before firing a no-look backhander toward the net from behind the red line. The puck deflected in off Lundqvist, helping send this one to overtime.

Evgeni Malkin capped off a four-point night with the overtime winner.

“Right now it’s a little bit challenging as far as putting a whole game together for us,” said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault following the game. “But this group is very accountable … and I’m very confident that if we keep doing a lot of the things we’re doing right now, we’re going to be on the right track.”

A trio of Rangers recorded their first goals of the season. That included David Desharnais, Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich, although the latter played less than 10 minutes on Tuesday, despite nearly four minutes in power play time, and of course the goal.

The Rangers host the New York Islanders on Thursday. Another loss, and one has to wonder how hot the seat may be getting under Vigneault.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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Kucherov joins elite company with hot start, but Devils defeat Bolts

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The Nikita Kucherov Show continues.

The Tampa Bay Lightning star forward maintained his torrid pace Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, scoring his eighth goal of the season — in just his seventh game.

The Bolts took the lead in the second period on goals from Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but couldn’t hang on and ultimately lost to the Devils (how about this start for New Jersey?) by a score of 5-4 in the shootout.

There is no denying, however, that this has been a special start for the 24-year-old Kucherov and he has joined elite company as a result.

That’s a perfect shot on Cory Schneider.

Read more: Kucherov’s star continues to rise

Kucherov also added an assist on Vladislav Namestnikov‘s beautiful first-period goal. The Devils, though, completed the comeback to continue their strong start to the season, both in wins and goals for. They entered Tuesday’s contest among the league leaders in scoring and surged out to an early lead following a wild five-goal first period.

Drew Stafford opened the scoring for New Jersey and then tied it late in the third period. Kyle Palmieri scored the winner in the shootout.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Sharks

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It’s been a difficult start to the season for both the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens, however both clubs have an opportunity to change that beginning tonight.

The Sharks host the Habs and you can catch the action on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Rangers, Sharks need to wake up from early slumps

Canadiens looking to spark, not ‘bury’ Alex Galchenyuk after move to fourth line

It’s early but the Habs are struggling to find the back of the net

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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Video: Nolan Patrick’s sweet drop pass sets up Dale Weise

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That was quite the second period for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

The Flyers scored four straight goals to take a commanding lead, but Nolan Patrick put the exclamation point on the frenzied frame with this sweet drop pass to set up Dale Weise for Philadelphia’s fourth goal.

That’s the second assist and third point of the season for the 19-year-old Patrick.

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Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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