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VIDEO: Ducks Edge Sabres 3-2
By Michael Walters
The Ducks were without Ondrej Kase and Erik Gudbranson. Kase was on the receiving end of a hard hit by Jake Muzzin in the last game, but the Ducks said he was out due to the “flu”. Gudbranson was placed on the IR after also being checked hard by Toronto’s Zach Hyman. He was seen in Toronto after the game with his arm in a sling per the Athletic’s Eric Stephens. He returned to California to be re-evaluated.
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Anaheim started this game with a flurry of goals as they scored three times on their first six shots. Jakob Silfverberg would get the first goal beating Johansson low on his stick side. Rickard Rakell would then find Ryan Getzlaf in the slot and he would score shooting low on Johansson. Nick Ritchie would make it 3-0 as he picked up the puck and fired it in after Troy Terry lost it in the slot. Later in the period Terry was awarded a penalty shot, but couldn’t convert. Buffalo did get a goal late in the period by Johan Larsson, to make it 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Buffalo would pull within one in the second period. The Sabres went on the power play and Rasmus Ristolainen deflected a shot from the point past Miller to make it a close contest. The Ducks did get a power play in the middle frame and had a few good scoring chances, but couldn’t convert. The Ducks led 3-2 after two periods of play.
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In the final frame, the Sabres came out strong applying all kinds of pressure against the Ducks. Miller was tested several times preserving the one goal lead. Late in the period, Buffalo had a power play, but couldn’t convert. They also pulled their goalie in the final two minutes of the game, but still couldn’t even up the score. Ducks hung on and won 3-2.
The Ducks started this game off like they are going to blow the Sabres out of the building. Anaheim was able to drop three goals on the rookie goalie and everything looked great for the Ducks until the end of the first period. Buffalo was able to get a goal late in the period and then carried the momentum into the middle frame by pulling within one goal. Anaheim was clinging to a one goal lead for the entire third period and had to rely on Miller heavily in order to win.
The Ducks went 3-0-2 on the road trip earning a point in all five contests for the first time in over 17 years. It’s just the second time in franchise history that has happened on a continuous road trip of five games or more. In 02-03, they went 2-0-3 during a five-game trip from November 12th-17th in 2002.
The Ducks return home on Tuesday to face St. Louis at 7 PM PT.
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February 9th, 2020