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5 things to know: Bishop stays perfect with third straight shutout

The goaltender stops all 35 shots faced and Hintz scores twice as the Stars blank the Sabres for two big points

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Bishop's big shutout performance

DAL@BUF: Bishop turns in third consecutive shutout

Ben Bishop makes 35 saves in a 2-0 win against the Sabres, earning his third consecutive shutout and seventh of the season

  • 01:29 •

Ben Bishop stopped 35 shots for his third straight shutout as the Dallas Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0, at KeyBank Center on Tuesday night.

Roope Hintz provided the offense, scoring both goals as the Stars won for the fifth time in their last six games and pulled to within two points of St. Louis for third place in the Central Division.

Here are five things to know from Tuesday's game.

 

1. Bishop makes it three straight shutouts

Bishop put himself in the Dallas Stars history books by becoming just the third goaltender in Stars/North Stars franchise history to record shutouts in three straight appearances, joining Cesare Maniago (1967) and Ed Belfour (2000).

Bishop turned away 35 shots in Tuesday's win and has 94 saves in the three consecutive shutouts.

"It's new. I really don't know what the feeling is like," Bishop said. "It's one of those things. I'll take it, but the wins are what's important. The shutouts are nice, but it's not why you play the game. The guys are doing a great job in front of me."

The Stars netminder hasn't allowed a goal since the second period of the March 2 game at St. Louis. His shutout streak is at 204:20, second-longest in franchise history to Belfour's 219:26 set in 2000.

The shutout streak has dropped his goals-against average to 2.08, second-best in the league, and raised his save percentage to .932, which now leads the NHL.

"Things are going my way right now," Bishop said. "Going to try to ride the high as long as I can. But I just want to get the wins. It really doesn't matter about the goals against."

Bishop also ran his winning streak against Buffalo to 12 games, tying Nashville's Pekka Rinne for the longest active winning streak against a single opponent. Rinne has won 12 straight against the Edmonton Oilers.

Bishop is 12-0-1 in his career against Buffalo.

"I don't want to talk about it because it is just a matter of time, right?" Bishop said in a postgame interview on the Stars TV broadcast. "I thought about it today and was like I hope this run can keep going here. The law of averages aren't on my side anymore."

Video: Bishop extends shutout streak against Buffalo

 

2. Hintz provides the offense

As for goal scoring in the game, it was the Roope Hintz show. The Stars rookie forward scored both goals, his sixth and seventh of the season.  

After a first period in which neither team could take advantage of two power plays apiece, Hintz broke a 0-0 tie at 7:29 of the second, grabbing the rebound of a Jason Dickinson shot, driving the net and roofing a shot over Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark.

A little less than six minutes later, Hintz scored from the slot with the Stars on their third power play of the night, and it was a 2-0 game.

"We knew he was a good player at the beginning of the year. I think he is just getting more comfortable and more confident," said Bishop. "The plays he's making tonight, that's big league, that's borderline superstar play. He's got elite speed. He's got a great shot.

"I think the more he learns the game; he's just going to get that much better. The future is going to be really bright for him."

Hintz has been on a nice run recently, scoring four goals over the last seven games. He was up and down between the NHL and AHL earlier this season but has settled into being an everyday NHL player since his last call-up in late December.

"I just try to play my own game and not think too much about mistakes and stuff like that," Hintz said of the change in his game over the course of the season.

Now, he's playing on the top line and getting power-play time.

"He's given us another option, right?" said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "He's clearly a top-six forward."

Video: DAL@BUF: Hintz nets second goal on power play

 

3. Stars win special teams battle

About one-third of the first period was special teams play. The Sabres took back-to-back delay of game penalties and then the Stars took two penalties. Neither team scored. Defenseman John Klingberg hit a crossbar on the Stars' first opportunity and captain Jamie Benn had a great chance on the second one but was denied on a slick glove save by Ullmark.

The Stars were able to cash in on their third power play of the game in the second to extend their lead to 2-0 when Hintz scored.

"I thought all three power plays generated a lot," Montgomery said. "We had a lot of shot attempts. We had good movement. We were converging on the net and retrieving rebounds."

The Hintz goal snapped a three-game power-play drought for the Stars, who have scored just five times on the power play over the last 16 games.

Buffalo got a third power play chance midway through the third with a chance to cut into the Dallas lead and came close when Jeff Skinner hit the post.

The Stars PK, which went 3-3 on the night, is now 15-15 over the last five games and climbed to fifth in the league at 82.7 percent, moving just ahead of Buffalo which dropped to sixth.

The Stars allowed Buffalo just one shot on goal during its three opportunities on the power play. The Stars had seven shots on goals on their three power plays.

Video: Monty praises his teams efforts in win over Sabres

 

4. Stars gain ground on third-place Blues

The Stars, who are in the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, moved a little closer to third place in the Central Division and created some separation from teams just outside a playoff position.  

The Stars (36-28-5--77 points) moved to within two points of St. Louis for third in the Central after the Blues lost to Arizona, 3-1, Tuesday night.

Arizona, meanwhile, moved into the second wild-card spot with its win in St. Louis and is two points behind the Stars.

The Stars increased their lead over Minnesota (third in the wild-card race/ninth in the West) to three points) and Colorado (fourth in the wild-card race/10th in the West) to five points.

The Stars play at Minnesota Thursday.

Video: DAL@BUF: Hintz breaks the ice from sharp angle

 

5. Stars sweep season series with Buffalo

The Stars swept the two-game season series against Buffalo, winning 1-0 and 2-0. ... Dallas has won five straight games against Buffalo. ... The Sabres outshot the Stars 35-27 and had a 61-37 advantage in shot attempts. ... Naturalstattrick.com had scoring chances 28-13 Buffalo and high-danger chances 11-5, Sabres. ... The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. ... The Stars won 30 of 54 faceoffs (56 percent). Tyler Seguin won 9 of 13 faceoffs (69 percent). Jason Spezza won 6 of 10 faceoffs (60 percent). ... Esa Lindell led the Stars with 26:18 of ice time.

Here's the lineup the Stars used to start the game along with scratches and injuries.

Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Jamie Benn - Joel L'Esperance - Jason Spezza
Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Andrew Cogliano - Jason Dickinson - Valeri Nichushkin

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Jamie Oleksiak - Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop
Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Julius Honka, Brett Ritchie, Taylor Fedun
Injured: Mats Zuccarello (broken arm), Tyler Pitlick (wrist surgery), Martin Hanzal (back), Marc Methot (knee surgery), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches)

Video: Bishop, Hintz power Stars past Sabres, 2-0

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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