The Buffalo Sabres couldn't climb out of an early hole Sunday afternoon in their 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at KeyBank Center.
Anaheim jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and while Buffalo got within one and had multiple opportunities throughout the game - even hitting a few posts - they couldn't beat Ryan Miller for a third time.
Miller started for Anaheim and played what could be his final career game in Buffalo. The 39-year-old netminder was drafted by the Sabres in 1999, won the Vezina Trophy in 2009-2010, and is the franchise's all-time wins leader. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Video: RJ and Rayzor on Sabres All-Time Wins Leaders
Johan Larsson and Rasmus Dahlin scored the Sabres' goals, and Jonas Johansson made 25 saves in net.
Anaheim struck first when Josef Silfverberg scored on the rush on a pass from Sam Steel 6:15 into the game.
The added to their lead with a pair of goals 1:15 apart. First, Ryan Getzlaf made it 2-0 when he connected on a one-timer in the slot with 9:15 remaining in the first and then Nick Ritchie tallied with 8:00 left.
Johansson was able to stop Troy Terry on a penalty shot with 2:08 remaining, making a right pad save.
Then Larsson got Buffalo on the board with 1:07 to go in the opening period. He was able to convert on a neutral zone turnover and skating in alone, he beat Miller five hole. Buffalo went into the locker room down 3-1 and outshot 11-7.
Dahlin made it a one-goal game when his shot through traffic made its way across the goal line with 8:19 left in the second. The goal was his fourth of the year and his second power-play goal of the season. Both Jimmy Vesey and Rasmus Ristolainen were creating traffic in front.
What it means
Buffalo is now 24-24-8 on the season and 15-10-4 at home.
Johansson made his second career start between the pipes. Andrew Hammond was recalled before the game and served as his backup. Carter Hutton missed the game due to family circumstances while Linus Ullmark remains sidelined with a lower-body injury.
Forward Marcus Johansson was also ruled out before the game due to illness.
Roll the highlight film
Here's Johansson's save on the penalty shot:
Video: Johansson stops penalty shot
The Sabres will practice on Monday as they get ready for Tuesday night's home game against the Detroit Red Wings. Tickets are on sale now. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. on MSG with faceoff set for just after 7 on MSG and WGR 550.