The response was everything Phil Housley could have hoped for. With Jack Eichel beginning to serve a two-game suspension, seemingly every player in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup created scoring chances while filling a more prominent role and receiving additional ice time.
The result, though, left much to be desired. The Sabres were shut out for a second consecutive game, losing to the Dallas Stars, 2-0, Tuesday night in KeyBank Center.
Buffalo (30-30-9) has lost 11 of its last 13 games, including five straight, and has been outscored 5-0 over its last two games. It has not scored since Kyle Okposo's third-period goal in a 5-4 shootout loss last Thursday in Chicago.
Roope Hintz scored both Dallas goals in a span of five minutes, 43 seconds during the second period. The Stars (36-28-5) kept control of the Western Conference's first wild-card playoff spot. Linus Ullmark, starting for the first time in three games, made 25 saves for Buffalo, which had 35 shots on goal.
Opening salvo: Lax defense cost the Sabres again. Hintz skated through the right circle and toward the net, where neither Rasmus Dahlin nor Zach Bogosian chose to challenge him. Hintz lifted a puck over Ullmark's shoulder for a 1-0 lead at 7:29 into the second period.
Another one: With Alexander Radulov parked in front of Ullmark, Hintz scored his second of the game and seventh of the season with a wrist shot from the high slot at 13:12 into the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Close call: Buffalo seemed destined to breakthrough at the start of the second period, when Jeff Skinner hit the post with a backhanded shot. Alexander Nylander and Tage Thompson would also have scoring chances around Dallas net before Hintz broke through.
Streak continues: Dallas goalie Ben Bishop won his 12th consecutive start against the Sabres, including two shutouts this season alone.
Penalties galore: The Sabres were called for consecutive delay of game penalties within the game's first seven minutes because Marco Scandella and Bogosian mistakenly cleared the puck over the glass. The Stars were then called for back-to-back penalties, though neither led to a goal.
The first period took approximately 40 minutes to play because of penalties, offside and icing calls. The Sabres outshot the Stars, 13-10, during the game's first 20 minutes.
Like a glove: Ullmark bailed out the Sabres during their second penalty kill with a remarkable glove save on Stars winger Jamie Benn following a cross-slot, backdoor pass by Tyler Seguin.
Injury: Bogosian did not return to the ice for the third period because of an undisclosed injury late in the second, finishing with just 13 minutes, 32 seconds of ice time.
100: Sabres winger Tage Thompson appeared in his 100th career NHL game.
Lineup: Defenseman Casey Nelson and winger Zemgus Girgensons were healthy scratches for the Sabres, while Matt Hunwick drew back into the lineup on their blue line. Defenseman Taylor Fedun, who was traded by Buffalo to Dallas in November, was among the Stars' healthy scratches.
Next: The Sabres are scheduled to practice Wednesday in Harborcenter ahead of a Thursday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.