Jake Oettinger stops 47 shots as Dallas Stars edge Buffalo Sabres 2-1


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jake Oettinger stopped 47 shots and Sam Steel scored midway through the second period, helping the Dallas Stars beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Matt Duchene also scored as Dallas celebrated Joe Pavelski’s 1,300th NHL game by continuing the team’s strong play of late. The 39-year-old Pavelski, a Wisconsin native, became the seventh U.S.-born player to reach that career milestone, and 69th overall.

The Stars improved to 5-0-1 in its past six games and 9-2-1 in its past 12 in opening a three-game road trip.

Tage Thompson scored for Buffalo, which blew its fourth chance of the season to win three straight. The Sabres haven’t won three straight since a three-game run spanning April 6-10 last season.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 28 shots in an outing between well-rested teams that had both been off since Jan. 27. Though not tested as often as Oettinger, Luukkonen was sharp in keeping the score close during a third period in which the Stars failed to capitalize on a pair of two-man advantages, one spanning 89 seconds and the other 18 seconds.

The Stars scored first on Duchene’s power-play goal 3:58 in, and never trailed despite being outshot 32-12 through two periods and 48-31 overall.

Steel scored the go-ahead goal with 10:56 left in the second, and a little over three minutes after Thompson tied the game.

Craig Smith’s initial shot caught Luukkonen high on his chest, and the puck rolled down his right arm and fell at feet of Stars forward Radek Faksa, whose shot through the crease banked in off Steel’s skate.

That was enough for Oettinger, who got over to stop Casey Mittelstadt’s snap shot from the left circle with 10 seconds left. Oettinger improved to 6-2 in his past eight starts since missing 12 games with a lower-body injury.

He stood his ground to foil Jeff Skinner’s backhander off a breakaway midway through the first. Then there was his stop on defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, driving in alone up the left wing. Oettinger got a piece of Dahlin’s snap shot, harmlessly deflecting the puck into the netting above the boards. Dahlin caught the puck as it fell and then immediately threw it down in frustration.

Another top save occurred 4:35 into the third, when Oettinger got his blocker down to stop Dylan Cozens’ low shot from the high slot.

Thompson, set up by Dahlin, scored on a one-timer from the left circle, beating Oettinger high on the short side.

UP NEXT

Stars: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Sabres: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



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