Sabres slip past Ducks in shootout
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[March 18, 2017]
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Buffalo
Sabres ended a frustrating trip to California by beating one of the
Western Conference's contenders.
Zemgus Girgensons scored in the 10th shootout round to give the
Sabres a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at the Honda
Ryan O'Reilly scored in regulation for the Sabres (29-31-12), who
received 40 saves from Anders Nilsson.
"We stole one tonight," said O'Reilly, whose team was outscored 6-1
by the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in the past two games.
"It wasn't our greatest game, but it started with," O'Reilly said
about Nilsson. "He played phenomenal and gave us a chance. It's been
tough. It hasn't been a good trip, but every team on the West Coast
always plays heavy and hard. They don't give you much. It's nice to
get one win in."
Rickard Rakell scored for the Ducks (37-23-11), who moved within six
points of the first-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.
"I didn't think we were sharp with the puck," Anaheim coach Randy
Carlyle said. "I think we had 22 shots directed toward the net that
missed the net, and they had a bunch of blocked shots."
Anaheim will travel to the Bay Area to play the Sharks on Saturday
"We're going into a tough building but we've played well in there
before," Carlyle said. "We're not shaking in our boots by going in
there; we know that."
Girgensons faked to his backhand before depositing a wrist shot over
the right leg pad of Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 31
shots in regulation, 14 of the in the third period.
Rakell used his 31st goal of the season to extend his goal-scoring
streak to four consecutive games and give the Ducks a 1-0 lead with
8:12 left in the first period.
Montour began the scoring sequence with a backhanded pass from
behind the net to Cam Fowler, who fired a slap shot from near the
right point. Rakell deflected the puck out of the air to the ice
before backhanding it behind Nilsson for his ninth goal in 10 games.
The Sabres had a chance to tie the score when they went on a 2-on-1
breakaway 1:30 into the second period. But Evander Kane's pass from
the left wing ricocheted off the blade of Brian Gionta's stick.
[to top of second column]
Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) moves the puck against
Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) during the overtime period at
Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
But O'Reilly's 17th goal tied the score with 4:25 left in the second
period. Jake McCabe's hard wrist shot from the blue line deflected
off Bernier's glove and the back of O'Reilly's left skate before
sliding inside the right post.
"That gave them life," Carlyle said.
Anaheim had a chance to take a 2-1 lead 26 seconds into the final
period but an onrushing Ryan Kesler redirected Sami Vatanen's pass
from the right boards just wide of the left post. Corey Perry had
another chance on a breakaway about nine minutes later but his slap
shot from the right circle hit the left post.
Nilsson kept the Ducks from winning in overtime when he used his
stick to deflect a wrist shot from the onrushing Jakob Silfverberg
into the crowd.
NOTES: Buffalo scratched LW Nicolas Deslauriers and D Justin Falk.
... Sabres RW Brian Gionta needs four games for 1,000 in his career.
... Sabres coach Dan Byslma played for the then-Mighty Ducks of
Anaheim from 2000-2004. ... Anaheim scratched G John Gibson, D
Korbinian Holzer, RW Ondrej Kase and C Logan Shaw. ... Ducks LW Nick
Ritchie played in his 100th career game. ... Ducks LW Andrew
Cogliano played in his 775th consecutive game. If Cogliano appears
Saturday night in San Jose, he would tie Craig Ramsay for fourth
place all-time in successive games played. ... Ducks coach Randy
Carlyle needs one victory to tie Hall of Famer Punch Imlach for
career victories with 402. Imlach was the Sabres' first coach and
served from 1970-72.
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