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Andersen, Perry lead Ducks to sixth straight win

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- The Buffalo Sabres finally ended their scoreless streak, but it wasn't enough against Frederik Andersen, Corey Perry and the rest of the Anaheim Ducks.

Andersen made 22 saves to match his career-high sixth straight win and Perry had a hat trick in Anaheim's 4-1 win Wednesday against Buffalo at Honda Center.

Perry ripped a slap shot past Buffalo goalie Michal Neuvirth at 17:17 of the third after captain Ryan Getzlaf outworked a defender to the puck to set it up. Perry completed his second hat trick this season on an empty-net goal at 18:55.

The slap shot came from far out, an unorthodox spot for Perry.

"I don't score too often from out there," Perry said with a laugh. "It just found a nice bounce off the wall, but I found a nice screen in front. Kind of a seeing-eye shot."

Perry became the fastest player in Anaheim history to eight goals, in seven games.

The superlatives continue to roll in for Andersen, who became the first goaltender in NHL history to win 26 of his first 31 decisions. Andersen was 5:06 away from his second straight shutout when Tyler Ennis pushed a rebound by him to make it 2-1. Andersen had gone 152:06 without allowing a goal, and Perry said the past two games are indicative of a Ducks makeup that is taking shape. Anaheim is 6-1-0.

"I think guys are starting to fit into their role and starting to know where they fit and how they're going to play, where they're going to play," Perry said. "It's all a feeling-out process at the start of the season. The team that can come together the quickest is going to get off to the best start, and that's what we're trying to do."

Ennis' goal allowed Buffalo to avoid being shutout for the third straight game for the first time in team history. The Sabres' scoreless streak lasted 198 minutes, dating to a goal by Marcus Foligno in the third period of a shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct.14.

Ennis found little relief in ending the drought but it was a much better showing than the 5-1 loss to Anaheim on Oct.13.

"We came out hard," Ennis said. "We matched them physically. We were hitting. That's a big strong team. We didn't back down. We played hard. We were [down] 2-1 with three minutes to go on the road against that team. I think there's a lot of positives to take out of it. It was a lot better game than the last one."

Andersen again had to be good early for Anaheim. He made a right skate save on Matt Moulson in the crease in the first period and a left skate save on Zemgus Girgensons early in the second. Andersen also skirted danger when Chris Stewart missed on a backhand and two follow-ups midway through the third.

"He was the one that kept us in," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If Buffalo hadn't gone so long without scoring and squeezing the stick, they probably would have scored a few more goals because they definitely outplayed us. They deserved a better fate."

Ryan Kesler made it 2-0 at 9:20 of the second period with a wrist shot from the top of the circles that went through traffic and found the right side of the net. Perry finished a great tip pass from Getzlaf when he broke down the right side and snapped a shot that beat Neuvirth on the far blocker side at 8:50 of the first.

The opening period was also highlighted by a sustained two-minute-plus shift by Anaheim in Buffalo's zone in which the Ducks changed lines while Sabres defensemen Tyler Myers and Josh Gorges were stuck on the ice.

That was the rub for Buffalo, which needed to play a strong possession game to spark its offense but had a tough time against Kesler, among others. The Ducks won 36 of 57 faceoffs, including 12-of-18 by Kesler.

The Sabres were 0-for-2 on the power play to fall to 0-for-24, the longest slump to begin a season since the New York Rangers went 0-for-32 to start the 2003-04 season.

Buffalo will have to take optimism from the game into Thursday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

"At least we attacked the net a little bit here tonight," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said. "We shot the puck. We had a lot of great opportunities and saw the net on a lot of them. When things are going bad, usually luck doesn't follow you. When you turn it around, usually it does."

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