Designing energy-efficient clusters has recently become an important concern to make these systems economically attractive for many applications. Since the links and switch buffers consume the major portion of the power budget of the cluster, the focus of this paper is to optimize the energy consumption in these two components. To minimize power in the links, we propose a novel dynamic link shutdown (DLS) technique. The DLS technique makes use of an appropriate adaptive routing algorithm to shutdown the links intelligently. We also present an optimized buffer design for reducing leakage energy. Our analysis on different networks using a complete system simulator reveals that the proposed DLS technique can provide optimized performance-energy behavior (up to 40% energy savings with less than 5% performance degradation in the best case) for the cluster interconnects.