FINAL: BUF 2 ANA 5
SHOTS: BUF 26 ANA 44
POWER PLAY: BUF 1/2 ANA 1/4
HITS: BUF 24 ANA 18
BLOCKED SHOTS: BUF 16 ANA 7
ANA: Corey Perry (10) unassisted
BUF: Jack Eichel (13) assisted by Kyle Okposo (18) and Ryan O’Reilly (18)
ANA: Rickard Rakell (22) assisted by Corey Perry (28) and Hampus Lindholm (6)
ANA: Antoine Vermette (8) assisted by Brandon Montour (1) and Hampus Lindholm (7)
ANA: Corey Perry (11) assisted by Rickard Rackell (10) and Cam Fowler (17)
BUF: Rasmus Ristolainen (4) assisted by Justin Bailey (1) and Sam Reinhart (22)
ANA: Andrew Cogliano (11) assisted by Ryan Kesler (25) and Logan Shaw (2)
The Sabres just came off of a miraculous 5-4 comeback win over the San Jose Sharks and tonight they face another very good California team in The Anaheim Ducks. Evander Kane didn’t participate in line rushes at practice this morning and he was a game-time decision but he was able to play tonight and Evan Rodrigues who was just called up this morning would be scratched. The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last 7 home games and they’ve done very well against western conference teams this season.
5 minutes into the 1st, Antoine Vermette made a pass to Josh Manson through Rasmus Ristolainen’s feet and Lehner made a huge save on Manson. Lehner has been superb for at least 2 weeks now. It seems like that game where he got pulled against Toronto could possibly be the turning point of the season for Lehner.
Jack Eichel made a nice pass to Jake McCabe and then John Gibson robbed McCabe to keep the game scoreless. Jake McCabe and John Gibson both won a gold medal at the world junior championship in 2013 and McCabe was the captain of that team.
Evander Kane took a penalty midway through the 1st and Marcus Foligno got drilled on a shot by Brandon Montour and was slow getting back to the bench.
In the final seconds of the 1st period, Corey Perry walks around every Sabre on the ice and beats Lehner 5 hole. That was some very poor defensive play by the Sabres on that goal.
Johnathan Bernier replaced John Gibson at the start of the 2nd period. Gibson stopped all 11 shots that he faced in the 1st period. Gibson was getting his skate fixed and he returned later in the 2nd.
Ryan O’Reilly won the faceoff, Okposo passed the puck back to Eichel, and Jack just scored his 13th of the season. That was Gibson’s 1st shot against after coming back from his skate repair.
Nic Deslaurier and Jared Boll had a fight and it looked like there was no clear winner in this one.
The score would remain 1-1 at the end of the 2nd period. The goaltenders were really good tonight.
Early in the 2nd period, Corey Perry found Rickard Rakell all alone for a one-timer that was blown past Robin Lehner to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead. Shortly after that goal Tyler Ennis absolutely laid out Hampus Lindholm.
Ryan O’Reilly took a high sticking penalty on Ryan Getzlaf and it was a double minor. So the NHL’s 29th ranked penalty kill just faced a big test. Just 20 seconds into the 1st power play, Antoine Vermette deflected Brandon Montour’s shot to make it 3-1 and Anaheim still had a 2-minute power play after that. The Sabres did kill off O’Reilly’s 2nd penalty of the double minor and they now had a big mountain to climb being down 3-1 against a very good Ducks team with about 12 minutes to go.
Minutes later, Rickard Rakell put the puck on Robin Lehner and the rebound went right to Corey Perry who was left all alone to put the puck past Lehner and now it was a 4-1 game.
Rasmus Ristolainen had a nice backhand goal to cut the lead to 4-2 but Anaheim scored an empty net goal to seal the deal and the Ducks would go on to win this game 5-2. The Sabres will face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.