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game recap

Ducks score three in first, hold off Sabres

Anaheim concludes five-game road trip 3-0-2; Buffalo has lost three of four

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Silfverberg scores from the slot

ANA@BUF: Silfverberg scores from slot in transition

Michael Del Zotto connects on a long pass to Sam Steel, who finds Jakob Silfverberg in transition for the opening score to put the Ducks up 1-0

  • 00:38 •

BUFFALO -- The Anaheim Ducks scored three times in the first period before holding off the Buffalo Sabres for a 3-2 win at KeyBank Center on Sunday.

Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie scored for the Ducks (23-26-7), who went 3-0-2 on a five-game road trip. 

"We've been at the opposite end of point streaks, now we're gaining some," Anaheim defenseman Michael Del Zotto said. "We may not have our best game every single night, but part of maturing as a hockey club is to get one or two points in those games, especially on the road as well."


[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Sabres highlights]


Ryan Miller made 31 saves to earn his 385th NHL win, tying Mike Vernon for 15th in League history.

"All of this has been nice. I enjoy playing and winning is what makes it more enjoyable," Miller said. "It's nice to be able to do that a number of times. I guess when I look back, I never would've expected to be on a list like that or playing this long, so I try to appreciate the opportunities and it's been fun."

Johan Larsson and Rasmus Dahlin scored, and Jonas Johansson made 25 saves for the Sabres (24-24-8), who are 1-2-1 in their past four games.

"We didn't have the battle in us that we had early in New York the other day (3-2 win on Friday)," Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. "What we were doing in the third to generate that traffic, and the movement in the offensive zone that led to multiple opportunities, is definitely something that we need to take with us. It's our game. It is really who we want to be, and we were not who we wanted to be the first 10 minutes, there's no question about it. Fifty minutes of it wasn't enough today because they just took such advantage of us not being ready at the start."

Silfverberg connected on a centering pass from Sam Steel on a rush to put Anaheim ahead 1-0 at 6:15 of the first period.

Getzlaf made it 2-0 off with a one-timer from the right circle after receiving a backhand pass from behind the net by Rickard Rakell at 10:45, and Ritchie slipped the puck through Johansson's legs on a turnaround in front to push the lead to 3-0 at 12:00.

Video: ANA@BUF: Getzlaf doubles lead with laser one-timer

Troy Terry had a chance extend it to 4-0 at 17:52 after he was hooked by Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut on a breakaway, but Johansson stopped him on the ensuing penalty shot.

"It was, for sure, a little bounce back. So that felt nice," Johansson said. "But I got to get better at starts. I felt like I let the team down a little bit at the start. So I got to step up there and be better to help the team collect points here."

Larsson scored to make it 3-1 at 18:53 when he forced a turnover by Getzlaf in the neutral zone and beat Miller five-hole on a breakaway.

Dahlin cut it to 3-2 at 11:41 of the second when his shot from the blue line made through traffic on a power play.

Video: ANA@BUF: Dahlin nets wrist shot from distance for PPG

Buffalo outshot Anaheim 15-5 in the third period and had a power play with under seven minutes remaining but weren't able to tie it up.

"I think we're learning lessons, for sure," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "To have a lead going into the third is something we haven't been afforded a whole bunch of this year. It's not like we've had great practice at protecting leads, and so that certainly is a positive, even though I'm not sure our third period was the greatest one. But we will learn some lessons there."


They said it

"[Miller] spent a lot of time here giving a lot of his career to this organization. I know it means a lot for him, and we talked about it a little bit before the game. It was nice to be able to go out and execute for him." -- Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf on Ryan Miller

"We gave them too much. I thought [Johansson] actually made some big saves. Obviously the penalty shot, he makes a huge save to keep us in it and then we were able to establish our game and sort of get back on the horse. But obviously, you spot a team that big of a lead, it's tough to come back." -- Sabres forward Jeff Skinner


Need to know

It is the third time in Ducks history they have earned at least one point in each game of a road trip of at least five games (3-0-2 in 1999-2000; 2-0-3 in 2002-03). … Sabres forward Jack Eichel played an NHL career-high 28:22.


What's next

Ducks: Host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-MW, NHL.TV) 

Sabres: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-D, NHL.TV) 

Video: Ducks hold off Sabres rally for 3-2 victory

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