EditorsNote: Changes to Ducks killing off 6 of 7 power plays in graf 5; correct spelling of Olofsson’s last name twice in graf 7
Rickard Rakell, Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique scored second-period goals Wednesday as the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 5-2 victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
The Ducks, returning from a 2-2-0 road trip, won at home for the third time in three tries. Anaheim also handed the Sabres their first regulation defeat of the season.
Henrique had two goals on the night, Jakob Silfverberg contributed a goal and two assists, and Rakell (a goal and an assist) and Josh Manson (two assists) each wound up with two points for the Ducks.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first 16:36 of the game, the Ducks used a goal from Henrique in the closing minutes of the first period to start their comeback. The center added his second goal of the night in the closing seconds of the second period.
Key to the victory was the Ducks’ ability to handle the Sabres’ league-leading power play. Buffalo entered with an NHL-best 42.9 percent conversion rate with a man advantage, but Anaheim killed off 6 of 7 Buffalo power plays.
The Sabres started fast when Jack Eichel scored at the 7:35 mark of the first period. Eichel’s fourth of the season was a one-man show when he took the puck near center ice, fought off Ducks defenseman Manson and beat Anaheim goalie John Gibson.
The Sabres then showed off their effective power play at 16:36 of the opening period when Victor Olofsson scored on the man advantage. All six of Olofsson’s goals this season have come on the power play, and he extended his record by becoming the first player in NHL history to score the first eight goals of his career all on the power play.
After Henrique’s first goal got the Ducks within 2-1, Rakell tied the game just 57 seconds into the second period when he took a centering pass from Silfverberg and scored his third of the season past Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark.
The Ducks took the lead for good at 9:14 of the second period when Getzlaf scored on the power play, his second tally of the season. It was the first time the Ducks scored with a man advantage this season, on their 17th try.
Henrique’s second goal of the game, and fourth on the season, came with 13 seconds remaining in the second period when he pushed the puck into the net between Ullmark’s legs.
Silfverberg scored into an empty net with just over three minutes remaining, his third of the campaign.
Gibson finished with 31 saves while Ullmark stopped 26 shots.
—Field Level Media