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game recap

Sabres defeat Ducks for first victory

Housley earns win No. 1 as NHL coach, Johnson makes 25 saves for Buffalo

by Dan Arritt / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Justin Bailey, Benoit Pouliot and Johan Larsson scored to lift the Buffalo Sabres to their first win of the season, 3-1 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

It was Phil Housley's first victory as an NHL coach.


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Ducks highlights]


"It feels great, obviously, but I have to tip my hat to the guys in that locker room," said Housley, who was hired June 15 to replace Dan Bylsma after four seasons as an assistant with the Nashville Predators.

Chad Johnson made 25 saves for the Sabres (1-4-1), who are 1-2-0 on their four-game West Coast trip.

"We haven't been playing our best hockey and it's been coming," Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe said. "[Housley] has been patient with us. It was nice for not only us, but for Phil to get that first win. Hopefully it's the first of many."

Video: BUF@ANA: Johnson seals post on Ritchie

The Sabres took a 2-1 lead with 32 seconds remaining in the second period after a giveaway by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson led to Pouliot's goal.

Manson retrieved the puck in the Anaheim zone but lost control of it in the left circle. After Pouliot played the puck under pressure from Manson, it caromed off Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler and past goalie John Gibson.

Larsson scored an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left to make it 3-1.

"We haven't been able to put together 60 minutes," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "You can tell we're starting to squeeze the sticks."

Chris Wagner scored shorthanded to tie the game 1-1 at 15:50 of the second period.

Manson tried to clear the puck by banking it off the glass, but Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen knocked it down with a glove just inside the Anaheim blue line and dropped it at his feet. Ristolainen swung and missed as he tried to get the puck deep, allowing Ducks forward Antoine Vermette to poke it ahead to Wagner for the breakaway goal.

It was the fifth shorthanded goal allowed by the Sabres, the most in the NHL. They gave up four in 82 games last season.

Bailey was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Sunday, and he scored on his first shift to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead 1:26 into the game.

Video: BUF@ANA: Bailey jams home loose puck to open scoring

"He provided that spark we needed," Housley said. "He was tenacious on the forecheck. He did a really good job after flying five hours."

Bailey's scoring play began when Larsson took a quick shot as the puck came up the wall in the Anaheim zone. Gibson made the initial save but missed when he tried to drag the puck back with his stick.

Before Gibson could make a second attempt at the puck, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu skated in and knocked it out of his reach. Beaulieu and Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour swung and missed at the bouncing puck, but Bailey skated in and knocked it into the net with a backhand.

"It doesn't help getting behind because then you're chasing the game," Wagner said.

The Ducks (2-3-1) were 0-for-4 on the power play and are 0-for-21 this season.

Gibson made 28 saves.

"If we're not scoring, we have to be better defensively," Gibson said. "I have to be better."

Anaheim forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves each missed the game with a lower-body injury. Each has missed four of six games this season and was in the lineup with the other only once, a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Video: BUF@ANA: Gibson sprawls to stop odd bounce


Goal of the game

Wagner won a face-off at center ice and sent the puck back into the Ducks zone. Manson got to the puck and turned to skate up ice, but it slipped off his stick. Pouliot took a quick shot, banking the puck off Fowler and into the net for his first goal for the Sabres.

Video: BUF@ANA: Pouliot capitalizes on turnover late in 2nd


Save of the game

Johnson stuck out his left leg and made a toe save on Fowler at 8:43 of the third period.


Highlight of the game

Wagner got loose on a breakaway with the Ducks killing a slashing penalty on Corey Perry, protected the puck from a diving Ristolainen, and made three quick stick moves before backhanding it between Johnson's pads.

Video: BUF@ANA: Wagner goes five-hole for shorthanded goal


They said it

"Sure, we can get better, but I thought for the most part we tried to get as many pucks to the net. When you do that, you get rewarded." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley


"We had our fair share of chances to get pucks through, but when things aren't going your way, with momentum and the tide of the games, you find ways to hit shin pads." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle


Need to know

Sabres forward Jacob Josefson left the game at 10:56 of the second period after he was hit by Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin. … Anaheim forward Nick Ritchie poked the puck out of Johnson's pads and into the Buffalo net at 12:01 of the second period, but referee Dave Jackson informed the Situation Room he was in the process of blowing his whistle to stop play before it crossed the goal line. … Fowler played his 500th game with the Ducks, becoming the youngest Anaheim defenseman (25) to reach that milestone. … The No. 95 worn by Bailey is the highest number ever given to a Buffalo player.


What's next

Sabres: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SN360, ATTSN-RM, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Ducks: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Friday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)


Video: Sabres defeat Ducks, 3-1, for first win

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