DALLAS (AP) — Rasmus Dahlin’s tiebreaking goal in the second period held up for Buffalo on Thursday night.
Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark and aggressive play in the neutral zone held Dallas scoreless until Buffalo scored two empty-net goals for a 4-1 win over the Stars.
Dahlin took a pass from Henri Jokiharju and sent a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through teammate Curtis Lazar’s screen and past Stars goalie Ben Bishop at 16:10 of the second.
“Lazar did a great job,” Dahlin said. “The goalie didn’t see.”
At the other end, Ullmark made 15 of his 28 saves in the second period and was called on for only five stops in the third.
“Give Buffalo credit,” Dallas interim coach Rick Bowness said. “(Ullmark) played another great game against us. They were clogging up the neutral zone very well.”
The Sabres never trailed. Jimmy Vesey scored a first-period goal for Buffalo, and Michael Frolik and Zemgus Girgensons added empty-net goals.
Jamie Benn scored the Stars’ goal in the second period. Bishop stopped 18 shots.
Buffalo matched a season best with its third straight win. The Sabres successfully killed all four Stars power plays. Buffalo has won five of the past seven games, with a 15-for-17 success rate on the penalty kill.
The Stars had scored on the power play in each of the six previous games, with eight goals total.
Dallas had won seven of eight, without allowing more than two goals in any of them.
The Stars controlled the puck early but Buffalo scored first after a Stars turnover. Jack Eichel took the puck away along the right boards and passed cross-ice to Sam Reinhart. With Bishop moving toward Reinhart, he passed back to the right to Vesey for an easy wrist shot into the open half of the net at 7:01.
Benn tied it 4:28 into the second period. Miro Heiskanen’s shot from the point missed the net but bounced off the boards to Benn at the left of the net. With Ullmark down, Benn had an open net for his wrist shot.
Dahlin restored the Sabres’ lead with his third goal this season.
Even though Dallas outshot Buffalo 16-5 in the period, it ended with the Sabres holding the 2-1 lead.
“We had pretty even scoring chances, 4-4 or 4-3, in the second period,” Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said, “so the shots were more from the peripheral. They did increase the shot volume, but we withstood that that period, came out with the lead at the end and managed that pretty well.”
NOTES: Stars D Miro Heiskanen did not play after the second period because of an upper-body injury. … Eichel’s assist on the game’s first goal gave him his second points streak of nine or more games this season, matched only by Boston’s David Pastrnak. Eichel has at least one point in 27 of his last 29 games. … Sabres C Sam Reinhart had an assist, giving him 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in the past 20 games. … Dallas D Stephen Johns was recalled from a conditioning assignment with Texas of the AHL but wasn’t added to the active roster and did not play. Johns has not played an NHL game since March 29, 2018, because of post-traumatic headaches. … Stars RW Corey Perry returned from a five-game suspension for elbowing Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis. … Dallas C Radek Faksa (upper-body injury) missed his second straight game, and C Mattias Janmark was out with an illness. … Buffalo won both games in the season series, outscoring the Stars 8-1.
Sabres: Finish a two-game trip on Saturday at Nashville.
Stars: Visit Minnesota on Saturday for their last game before the All-Star break.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports