Antti Niemi got his second shutout this season, Jamie Benn scored two third-period goals and the Dallas Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Niemi made 22 saves to shut down a Sabres team that has only scored four goals in their last four games.
Dallas entered the game with the NHL’s second-best power play at 28 percent, and Buffalo was third at 23 percent. Dallas was 1-for-5 in the game. Buffalo went 0-for-3.
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Benn’s first goal was at 7:11 on the power play after the Stars failed to score on their first four power plays. He scored again at 9:04, and Tyler Seguin assisted on both goals.
Antoine Roussel celebrated his 26th birthday by giving Dallas a 1-0 lead 6:22 into the first. All four of his goals this season have come at home.
The Stars have won eight of their last nine games and lead the league with 34 points.
Buffalo’s Chad Johnson made 29 saves, including 15 in the third period. The Sabres are 3-2-2 in their last seven games, with both regulation losses to Dallas.
Benn moved into the NHL lead with 14 goals, and John Klingberg took over the lead with his 19th assist on Roussel’s goal. Both passed Chicago’s Patrick Kane. He leads the NHL in points and entered a game later Saturday night at Vancouver with 13 goals and 18 assists.
Roussel took a long pass from Klingberg at the red line and skated to the top of the left faceoff circle. From there, he sent a wrist shot off defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s stick and under the glove of a surprised Johnson.
Dallas failed to score on four power plays, and Buffalo on one during a defensive-minded second, when each team had only five shots on goal.
Buffalo had a 5-on-3 advantage for 54 seconds extending into the second period, but couldn’t score. The Stars didn’t even have a shot on goal during their first power play 4 minutes into the second. The Sabres’ Evander Kane served a double minor for high sticking, but Dallas couldn’t score.
After that penalty expired, Niemi kicked away rookie Jack Eichel’s close-in shot.
Dallas had a 3-on-1 rush on its last power play of the second, but it ended with a shot wide of the net.
The Stars finally connected after Johnson stopped Benn’s tip-in attempt, but left the rebound in front. Dallas’ captain put the puck on his forehand and put a wrist shot in the net. Benn’s second goal came on a pass across the slot from Seguin.
NOTES: After the goal by Roussel, a native of France, the PA system played the opening lines of La Marseillais. His 38 career goals are the most by any French national. … Dallas entered the game with the NHL’s second-best power play at 28 percent, and Buffalo was third at 23 percent. … Stars D Jordie Benn (illness) missed the game, and D Jason Demers (lower-body injury) didn’t play after the second period. …. Niemi has 34 career shutouts.
First Period—1, Dal, Roussel 4 (Klingberg, Eakin), 6:22. Penalties—Roussel, Dal (interference), 18:51; Jokipakka, Dal (delay of game), 19:57.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Deslauriers, Buf, major (fighting), 2:11; Oleksiak, Dal, major (fighting), 2:11; McCabe, Buf (holding), 3:50; E.Kane, Buf, double minor (high-sticking), 8:54; Bogosian, Buf (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:01.
Third Period—2, Dal, Ja.Benn 13 (Spezza, Seguin), 7:11 (pp). 3, Dal, Ja.Benn 14 (Seguin, Sharp), 9:04. Penalties—Ja.Benn, Dal (cross-checking), 4:30; Ennis, Buf (holding), 6:21.
Shots on Goal—Bul 8-5-9—22. Dal 10-5-17—32. Power plays—Bul 0 of 3; Dal 1 of 5. Goalies—Bul, Johnson 4-7-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Dal, Niemi 8-3-0 (22-22). A—18,532 (18,532). T—2:25.