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game recap

Sabres defeat Ducks in 10-round shootout

Zemgus Girgensons scores third goal for Buffalo to win it

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Zemgus Girgensons scored in the 10th round of the shootout to give the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday.

Buffalo goaltender Anders Nilsson made 39 saves and stopped seven of nine in the shootout. Another attempt by the Ducks missed high. Rasmus Ristolainen extended the shootout for the Sabres by scoring in the ninth round, and Ryan O'Reilly scored in the second round.

Buffalo was 1-6 in the shootout this season.

"We've been struggling all season long with shootouts," Nilsson said. "It's nice to get a win tonight. … It was good for our confidence, even though it's coming late in the season."

 

WATCH: All Sabres vs. Ducks highlights

 

Ryan Getzlaf scored in the second round and Brandon Montour in the ninth round for Anaheim (37-23-11), which leads the Calgary Flames by one point for second place in the Pacific Division. Calgary defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1.

"We definitely had our chances," Ducks forward Rickard Rakell said. "It's too bad we didn't get two points, but we need to move forward and focus on the game [at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday].

Buffalo (29-31-12) ended a six-game road-losing streak and a scoreless streak of 154:25. It lost 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

The Sabres tied this game 1-1 with 4:25 left in the second period. A slap shot from Jake McCabe went off the glove of goaltender Jonathan Bernier, hit O'Reilly in the skate as he jostled for position near the right post, and deflected into the net.

Video: BUF@ANA: Girgensons nets SO winner in 10th round

"At one point in the second period, we were outchancing them 7-1, and then they get a goal," Carlyle said. "That gave them life, and we had all kinds of opportunities before that. We just didn't finish."

The Ducks led 1-0 after Rakell backhanded a rebound at 11:48 of the first period. He leads Anaheim with 31 goals and has nine in his past 10 games.

The Ducks trail the Sharks by six points for first place in the Pacific Division with 11 games remaining. San Jose has one game in hand.

"We're going into a tough building, but we've played well there before," Carlyle said. "We aren't shaking in our boots, that's for sure."

Video: BUF@ANA: Bernier flashes leather to rob Kane in close

 

Goal of the game

Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler got a shot through from the high slot after he received a pass from Montour. The puck hit Nilsson in the chest and popped in the air. When the puck came down outside the crease, Rakell was there to score.

Video: BUF@ANA: Rakell bats in a rebound with backhand

 

Save of the game

In the opening minute of the third period and tied 1-1, Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen carried the puck into the Sabres zone and spotted teammate Ryan Kesler driving toward the opposite post. Vatanen put his pass on Kesler's tape, but Nilsson slid over and made the save at 29 seconds.

Video: BUF@ANA: Nilsson slides across crease to deny tip-in

 

Highlight of the game

Ristolainen had never scored in an NHL shootout. He skated in on Bernier's right, cut across the middle as he reached the hash marks, forcing Bernier to slide with him. Ristolainen then pushed the puck back to his backhand, reached across the front of Bernier and softly tapped the puck across the goal line.

Video: BUF@ANA: Ristolainen shines in SO with gorgeous move

 

Unsung performance of the game

With Buffalo defenseman Taylor Fedun out after sustaining a foot injury blocking a shot in the first period, and defenseman Zach Bogosian serving a five-minute fighting penalty early in the third, Ristolainen, McCabe, Cody Franson and Josh Gorges held up for the Sabres during that stretch.

 

They said it

"I didn't think we were as sharp with the puck. We had 22 shots that were directed toward the net that we missed. We had a 40-shot night. They had a bunch of blocked shots on us. That's an indicator we weren't sharp enough around the puck." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

 

"We stole one tonight. It wasn't our greatest game, but it started with [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." -- Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly

 

Need to know

The shootout was the longest in Sabres history. The Ducks lost a 14-round shootout to the New York Islanders this season (Nov. 22). ... Jack Eichel assisted on O'Reilly's goal and has 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in the past 22 games. ... O'Reilly has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past 10 games. ... The Ducks did not have a power play for the second time this season. The Sabres had one.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Detroit Red Wings on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Ducks: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, PRIME, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Girgensons propels Sabres to 2-1 win with SO goal

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