BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ben Bishop is on a roll at an important time for the Dallas Stars.
Bishop made 35 saves for his third straight shutout, and the Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Tuesday night.
“Obviously, the shutouts are nice but it’s not why we play the game,” Bishop said. “Things are going my way right now. Just try to ride the high as long as you can. Just get wins. Doesn’t really matter about the goals against.”
Bishop extended his career-best shutout streak to 204 minutes, 20 seconds. It’s the second-longest run for a Stars goaltender behind Ed Belfour’s streak of 219 minutes, 26 seconds that ran from Nov. 17-24, 2000. He is the third goaltender in franchise history with three consecutive shutouts.
“Three shutouts in a row is unbelievable,” said rookie Roope Hintz, who scored both goals for Dallas.
In posting his sixth shutout of the season, Bishop matched Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy for second in the NHL. He had shutout wins against the Rangers and Avalanche last week. Anton Khudobin was in goal for the Stars during Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the Blackhawks.
“As a team, we are realizing that if we play good defensive hockey, we are going to get our chances,” Stars forward Blake Comeau said. “As the season has gone along, we’ve really found our identity and everybody has bought into playing really good defensive hockey.”
Hintz had his first multi-goal game for Dallas in the opener of a two-game trip. The Stars have won five of six and remain on top of the Western Conference wild-card standings with 77 points.
Buffalo played without captain Jack Eichel, who began serving a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Colorado’s Carl Soderberg.
Linus Ullmark stopped 25 shots for the Sabres, who were shut out for the second straight game and dropped their fifth in a row.
Buffalo also was shut out by Bishop in a 1-0 loss at Dallas on Jan. 30.
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“We just couldn’t seem to find one to maybe give us a lift and go from there,” said forward Jeff Skinner, who leads Buffalo with 36 goals, but hasn’t scored in his last 12 games. “It’s not a good feeling. But at the same time, you have to stick with it and create some more.”
The Stars took a 1-0 lead when Hintz scored midway through the second period. Jason Dickinson’s shot from the point bounced to the right side of the net, where Hintz skated in and lifted a shot over Ullmark’s shoulder.
Hintz got his seventh of the season on a power play with 6:48 remaining in the second. His wrist shot from outside the right circle beat Ullmark to the far post.
Dallas could not convert on a pair of power plays during the scoreless first period. The Stars’ best scoring chance was thwarted when Ullmark made a gliding glove save on a point-blank one-timer from Jamie Benn a little more than seven minutes into the game.
NOTES: Bishop has won his last 12 starts against Buffalo, tied for the longest active streak against a single opponent in the NHL. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne has won 12 straight against Edmonton. … In addition to Bishop and Balfour, Cesare Maniago had three straight shutouts for the Minnesota North Stars from Dec. 13-16, 1967. … Stars F Blake Comeau recorded his 300th career point on the first goal by Hintz. … Sabres F Alexander Nylander made his season debut after being called up from the minors following Eichel’s suspension. Nylander was Buffalo’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft. … Stars F Valeri Nichushkin entered the lineup in place of Brett Ritchie and D Jamie Oleksiak took Taylor Fedun’s spot. Coach Jim Montgomery said the moves were made to help keep players fresh for the busy week.
Stars: Conclude road trip Thursday at Minnesota.
Sabres: Host Pittsburgh on Thursday.
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