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Ducks, Sabres meet in game of NHL's best, worst

by John Kreiser

SABRES (3-14-1) at DUCKS (13-3-1)


Last 10: Buffalo 2-8-0; Anaheim 7-2-1

Season series: The Anaheim Ducks are looking for a sweep of their two-game series against the Buffalo Sabres. They beat Buffalo 6-3 at First Niagara Center six days ago.

Big story: Two teams at opposite ends of the overall standings meet as the last-place Sabres try to become the first visiting team to win at Honda Center. The Ducks won in Buffalo during their just-concluded eight-game trip and have a 6-0-1 record in their past seven games.

Team Scope:

Sabres: After their best offensive night of the season in a 5-4 shootout win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the Sabres' offensive struggles resumed against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Buffalo gave up power-play goals to Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar and were limited to 19 shots on goal in a 2-0 loss.

"We played pretty well 5-on-5," forward Matt Moulson said. "We lost the special-teams battle tonight. They had a couple of power-play goals and ours wasn't clicking very well. That was the difference."

Ducks: As if Anaheim wasn't playing well enough, the power play is showing signs of life. The Ducks had scored four times with the extra man in their first 16 games, but they did it twice Wednesday in a 5-2 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes in their return after the marathon road trip.

"I think we can be a lot better," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "We've found ways to win without scoring, basically, any power-play goals. Special teams definitely has been at the top of our list of something we need to correct.

"It was good to get a couple of power-play goals [Wednesday]. They were big goals for us. It's always good to end a tough streak like that."

Who's hot: Sabres center Cody Hodgson has a goal and two assists in his past three games, as well as the shootout winner in San Jose. … Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf has two goals and five points in the Ducks' past three games. Rookie goaltender Frederick Andersen is 4-0-0 with a 1.36 goals-against average.

Injury report: Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff left Buffalo's game in L.A. in the third period with a lower-body injury, but he indicated he may be able to play against Anaheim. Another defenseman, Mike Weber, has been idled with a broken thumb. … Anaheim is missing center Saku Koivu (head), forwards Jacob Silfverberg (broken hand) and Matt Beleskey (finger), defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body).

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