The Buffalo Sabres reversed a recent trend of building leads and then frittering them away Monday.
Carrying a two-goal advantage into the third period, the Sabres pulled away from the Dallas Stars to earn a 4-0 victory before an announced crowd of 16,595 in a Columbus Day matinee in KeyBank Center.
Victor Olofsson notched yet another power-play goal to grab a slice of NHL history, and set up a Sam Reinhart goal to put the Sabres in control through 40 minutes. But unlike Wednesday's overtime win over Montreal and Friday's shootout victory over Florida, the Sabres finished the deal in regulation.
Vladimir Sobotka's neat feed sprang Jeff Skinner for a goal at 4:20 of the third period to make it 3-0 and Marcus Johansson followed with a long shot at 6:02 to end any suspense.
Carter Hutton made 25 saves to post his first shutout in two seasons with the Sabres.
The Sabres improved to 5-0-1 with their third straight win, their best start since opening the 2008-09 season at 6-0-2. Dallas fell to 1-5-1, a huge disappointment after its season ended last year with a double-overtime loss to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis in the second round of the playoffs.
Power play prowess: The Sabres got a break when Dallas took a delay of game penalty at 5:05 of the second period for not keeping its players on the ice in a timely fashion after an icing call. Buffalo took advantage when Olofsson one-timed home a Rasmus Dahlin pass at 6:27.
For the history books: Olofsson's fifth goal of the season made him the first player in NHL history to score his first seven career goals on the power play. Olofsson had two goals for Buffalo last season after his first career recall from Rochester.
Bishop no longer the knight of the Sabres: Dallas goalie Ben Bishop entered the game 12-0-1 in his career against the Sabres – with a 12-game winning streak and two straight shutouts. Olofsson's goal snapped his shutout string against Buffalo at 155 minutes, 57 seconds.
Getting a jump: The Sabres have scored first in five of their six games this season, including all four at home. They've also led after two periods in five of six.
Special teams report: The Sabres entered the game leading the NHL on the power play and went 1 for 2 to push their season figure to 9 for 21 (42.8%). They are 6 for 15 at home (40%). Dallas, meanwhile, went 0 for 2 to fall to 1 for 22 on the season. The Stars lead the league in unsuccessful power-play opportunities. Four teams (New Jersey, Ottawa, Arizona and Anaheim) entered Monday without a power-play goal.
The lineup: The Sabres maintained the status quo as defenseman John Gilmour was scratched for the sixth straight game. The extra forward was Curtis Lazar, who was called up Sunday from Rochester to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip.
"In training camp, there were a lot of players that left some really strong marks," coach Ralph Krueger said before the game when asked about Lazar's promotion. "Looking at the games ahead and the opposition ahead, his ability to play up the middle and on the wing, add to the power play, right-handed shot and also be a PK guy ... we're expecting all those options to be there for us. Above that, he adds physicality, he adds strength, depth to our roster if he comes in."
Familiar face: Former Buffalo defenseman Taylor Fedun was back in the Stars' lineup after getting scratched the last two games. He had one assist in the first three games of the season. Fedun played 34 games with Buffalo from 2016-2018 and was traded to Dallas for a seventh-round draft pick.
Next: The Sabres headed to the airport right after the game to make the trip west. They open a three-game California road trip Wednesday night in Anaheim. They play Thursday in Los Angeles and Saturday in San Jose. The next home game is Oct. 22, also against San Jose.