The Ducks (28-17-10, 66 pts.) play the fourth game of a season-high six-game, 14-day road trip this evening against the Buffalo Sabres (22-21-10, 54 pts.) at KeyBank Arena (4 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). Anaheim has posted an 11-5-4 record since Christmas, ranked fourth among league leaders in standings points (26 pts.) and tied for fourth in wins. In addition, Anaheim (39) has allowed the fewest goals in the league since Christmas (shootout goals excluded).
Tonight's contest opens a two-game season series, the first meeting between these two teams since Feb. 24, 2016 (1-0 Ducks win at Honda Center). The Ducks have posted a 13-15-4 all-time record against the Sabres, including a 5-6-4 mark in Buffalo. Last year the home team claimed victory in the season set: the aforementioned 1-0 win on February 24 in Anaheim and a 3-0 Sabres win on Dec. 17, 2015 in Buffalo. Antoine Vermette paces current Ducks skaters in career scoring against the Sabres with 19 points (8g/11a) in 42 career games. The Ducks and Sabres will meet again to conclude the season series on March 17 at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT).
The Ducks will look to end their current three-game skid that most recently included a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Despite putting a season-high 44 shots on goal, the only offense came from Jakob Silfverberg, who recorded his 16th goal and 35th point of the season in the second period. John Gibson took the loss, but was sensational at times making several highlight-reel saves in the second period that kept the Ducks in the game.
Two nights ago, the Sabres erased a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, in overtime. Evander Kane scored twice, including the overtime winner, while Tyler Ennis extended his point streak to four games. The comeback was the latest the Sabres have overcome a deficit of three or more goals since Nov. 2, 2006 at Boston. (Stat courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau).
Leading the Sabres in scoring this season is Kyle Okposo, who has 34 points (17g/17a) in 52 games. The 28-year-old right wing signed a seven-year contract with Buffalo on July 1 after becoming an unrestricted free agent. Okposo spent the first nine years of his NHL career with the New York Islanders after being selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft.