Sabres drop a stinker, 5-2 to the Ducks

Buffalo allows five unanswered goals and go just 1-for-8 on the power play

Kyle Powell
October 16, 2019 - 8:29 pm

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports


After starting the season 5-0-1, the Buffalo Sabres put together their first forgettable game of the 2019-20 season. 

The Sabres coughed up a 2-0 first period lead, and ended up suffering their first regulation loss of the year on Wednesday by a 5-2 score against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

The Sabres struck first as captain Jack Eichel stole a puck puck in the Buffalo zone and flew down the ice into the offensive zone. Eichel then created space for himself with his speed and body position, and put a nifty power move on Ducks goalie John Gibson. Eichel buried a goal past Gibson's left pad and the Sabres grabbed the 1-0 lead just 7:35 into the opening period.

Buffalo found themselves on their first power play opportunity of the night at the 15:22 mark of the first period, when Adam Henrique was penalized for holding the stick. Coming into Wednesday's game, the Sabres had the league's best percentage on the man advantage. They added to that marker 1:14 into the power play as Victor Olofsson fired a puck past Gibson on the glove side to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead.

Olofsson also added to his current NHL record in the process, giving him his eighth career goal, all on the power play to begin his career.

With 1:53 left in the first period, the Ducks seemed to slice the Sabres' lead in half courtesy of Max Jones, but head coach Ralph Krueger challenged the play to see if it was offside.  After a brief review by the officials, it was confirmed that the Ducks were offside and the goal was overturned. It was Krueger's first challenge as Buffalo's bench boss, and it was a successful one.

However, Anaheim cashed in on a goal that counted just over 30-seconds later as Henrique got a puck to trickle past goalie Linus Ullmark to cut the Buffalo advantage to 2-1 ahead of the first intermission.

The Ducks came out for the second period with a purpose, and ended up tying the game at 2-2 less than a minute into the middle stanza. Rickard Rakell capitalized on a turnover from defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen in the corner of the Buffalo zone and beat Ullmark just 57-seconds in.

Coming into Wednesday's game, Anaheim had yet to score on a power play this season. They were just one of three teams remaining in the league yet to have netted a goal on the man advantage, but that all changed after Johan Larsson was penalized for tripping 8:16 into the period. Just a minute into the power play, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf ripped a one-timer into the Sabres' net for the 3-2 lead.

The game then started to get chippy shortly after the Getzlaf goal.

Olofsson was ran hard into the boards after missing on a breakaway by Ducks forward Carter Rowney. Sam Reinhart, Marco Scandella and company came to his aid and the teams had to be separated in the corner of Anaheim's defensive end. A Buffalo power play ensued after penalties were dolled out, but it was quickly erased when Rasmus Dahlin was issued a minor for closing his hand on the puck.

Penalties were aplenty in the second period as the two teams constantly found ways to get under the other's skin. 

The Sabres were just seconds away from escaping the period only down a goal, but it was Henrique netting his second goal of the night against Ullmark with 12.5 seconds to go in the second.

The Sabres continued to get handed more chances to close the gap in the third as they started the period with a power play after a skrimish at the end of the second period. Despite being gifted another good chance to respond, the Sabres put forth another low-opportunity man advantage.

Minutes later, Buffalo was awarded, yet, another power play chance as defenseman Jacob Larsson sat for a hook on Eichel. However, for a seventh-straight time, the Sabres were denied as their passes kept getting cut off by Anaheim's penalty killers.

The league's best power play unit was getting taken to school when it mattered most as part of a frustrating evening for the Sabres' playmakers and weapons.

The Ducks all but iced things with an empty-net goal from Jakob Silfverberg with 3:13 left in regulation. 




Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 7:35 - Jack Eichel (4) (Unassisted); 16:36 - Victor Olofsson (6) PP (Sam Reinhart, Jeff Skinner)
ANA: 18:40 - Adam Henrique (3) (Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell)

Second Period:

ANA: 0:57 - Rickard Rakell (3) (Jakob Silfverberg); 9:14 - Ryan Getzlaf (2) PP (Sam Steel, Cam Fowler); 19:47 - Adam Henrique (4) (Maxime Comtois, Jakob Silfverberg)

Third Period:

ANA: 16:47 - Jakob Silfverberg (3) (Josh Manson)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 5:07 - Kyle Okposo (Tripping - 2 min.); 12:53 - Henri Jokiharju (Tripping - 2 min.)
ANA: 15:22 - Adam Henrique (Holding the stick - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 1:45 - Henri Jokiharju (Slashing - 2 min.); 8:16 - Johan Larsson (Tripping - 2 min.); 9:27 - Marco Scandella (Roughing - 2 min.); 10:15 - Rasmus Dahlin (Concealing the puck - 2 min.); 15:57 - Linus Ullmark (Roughing - 2 min; served by Jimmy Vesey); 20:00 - Johan Larsson (Roughing - 2 min.)
ANA: 1:45 - Maxime Comtois (Interference - 2 min.); 5:44 - Jacob Larsson (Delay of game - 2 min.); 9:27 - Carter Rowney (Boarding - 2 min.); 9:27 - Josh Manson (Roughing - 2 min.); 11:36 - Ondrej Kase (Slashing - 2 min.); 15:57 - Nick Ritchie (Roughing - 4 min.); 20:00 - Korbinian Holzer (Roughing - 2 min.); 20:00 - Adam Henrique (Roughing - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 19:47 - Jeff Skinner (High-sticking - 2 min.)
ANA: 5:33 - Jacob Larsson (Hooking - 2 min.); 19:47 - Maxime Comtois (High-sticking - 2 min.)


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 33 (19, 8, 6)
ANA: 31 (11, 13, 7)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 27 saves
ANA: John Gibson - 31 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 8 (12.5%)
ANA: 1 for 4 (25%)

Three Stars:

  1. Adam Henrique (ANA)
  2. Jakob Silfverberg (ANA)
  3. Rickard Rakell (ANA)

What's next:

The west coast swing continues for the Sabres on Thursday night, as the team travels to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Kings. Puck drop is set for 10:30 p.m. with pre-game coverage starting at 9:30 p.m. on WGR with Brian Koziol and Paul Hamilton.

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