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Recap: Sabres Finish Road Trip with Win

Buffalo narrowly defeats Anaheim 4-2 to end road trip

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a lackluster start to the game where it seemed like Buffalo just wouldn’t get a bounce to go their way, the Buffalo Sabres captured a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks to finish off their western road trip.

After a pregame ceremony to honor Paul Kariya and retire his #9 to the rafters of the Honda Center, the Ducks struck first in the game as Sam Steel scored his first career NHL goal with under four to play in the opening frame. Steel deflected a shot by Brandon Montour into the net behind Carter Hutton.

They’d hold onto that lead for most of the second period, adding to it on a goal by Kiefer Sherwood, who scored on a laser shot to make it a 2-0 game.

Just about two and a half minutes later, Buffalo finally got on the board with Kyle Okposo registering his first goal of the season. Evan Rodrigues passed the puck up to Sam Reinhart, who was waiting on the side of the net. A quick pass from the stick of Reinhart to Okposo in front led to the Sabres’ first goal of the night on the power play.

Jeff Skinner tied the game 1:28 later with his fifth of the season and fourth goal of the weekend after registering a hat trick Saturday in LA. Skinner picked up a pass from Jason Pominville and made a few nifty moves to tuck the puck behind Ryan Miller.

The Sabres took their first lead of the night on Rasmus Ristolainen’s first goal of the season less than four minutes into the third period. Ristolainen shot a rocket from the blue line on the man advantage to put Buffalo up 3-2.

After completing the comeback, the Sabres maintained the one-goal lead for over 15 minutes of play, including through a crucial penalty kill with under five to play. Carter Hutton made some incredible, huge saves in the final minutes to keep the Sabres’ hopes of victory alive. Patrik Berglund potted the empty-netter, his first goal as a Sabre, to make it 4-2 in the dying seconds of the game.

Buffalo outshot Anaheim 45-28 and went 2/4 on the man advantage. Ristolainen led the Sabres with 23:50 ice time, while Rasmus Dahlin played 5:33 on the power play and 20:12 overall. With Sunday night’s win, the Sabres went 3-2 on their road trip, with victories over Arizona, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

The Sabres will return to action on Thursday as they host the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m.

Final: Sabres 4, Ducks 2

Shots on Goal: Sabres 45 | Ducks 28

Sabres Goals: Okposo (1) (PPG), Skinner (5), Ristolainen (1) (PPG), and Berglund (1) (ENG)

Ducks Goals: Steel (1) and Sherwood (2)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Jeff Skinner (1 G)

2. Kyle Okposo (1 G, 1 A)

3. Rasmus Ristolainen (1 G, GWG)