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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Phil Housley finally got win No. 1 with the Buffalo Sabres.
Chad Johnson made 25 saves, Benoit Pouliot scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Sabres beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Sunday night for Housley’s first victory as an NHL coach.
“It feels great, obviously,” Housley said. “But I have to tip my hat to the guys in that locker room.”
Justin Bailey and Johan Larsson also scored for Buffalo, which had lost five straight to open Housley’s first season. The Sabres were pumped for their new boss.
“We haven’t been playing our best hockey,” defenseman Jake McCabe said. “He’s been patient with us. … Hopefully it’s the first (win) of many.”
Bailey scored 1:26 into his first regular-season game. Goalie John Gibson made the initial save on a shot by Larsson but couldn’t cover the puck. Bailey swooped in as Gibson dove across the crease during a scramble and sent a backhand shot under the goalie’s chest.
“The play was pretty simple,” said Bailey. “I came off the bench and brought pucks to the net which caused a little bit of confusion and I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time and put that in.”
Gibson started despite leaving after the first period against Colorado on Friday with an upper-body injury.
The Ducks have scored first only once in six games this season. Playing from behind is something the team has become familiar with.
“You never draw it up that way, but stuff happens,” Gibson said. “We usually come back. You find ways. We just haven’t found it yet.”
Midway through the second period, Evander Kane slashed Gibson while the goaltender was playing the puck behind the net.
The Ducks have yet to score a power-play goal this season. The team’s best opportunity came when a scrum in the crease led to Anaheim forward Derek Grant being bumped inside the goal, along with the puck. Officials whistled the play dead after the puck had crossed the goal line. A video review was initiated, and it was determined there was no goal because the referee was in the process of blowing his whistle when the puck crossed the line.
Late in the second period, Corey Perry’s slashing penalty put Buffalo on the power play for the third time. The Sabres had 13 seconds remaining with the extra man when Chris Wagner got in behind Kane and Rasmus Ristolainen. The forward deked twice and beat Johnson to tie it.
Buffalo has given up a league-high five short-handed goals through six games this season.
With 31.3 seconds left in the second, Josh Manson turned the puck over to Pouliot. Pouliot haphazardly got the puck to the front of the Ducks net, where it bounced off the skate of Cam Fowler and past Gibson to put Buffalo up 2-1.
“That’s the way it’s going,” Gibson said. “If we’re not scoring, we have to be better defensively. I have to be better.”
The Ducks controlled a majority of the play in the third, but could not get the tying goal behind Johnson.
Larsson iced the game at 3-1 with an empty-net goal.
Fowler retrieved the puck from the back of the net and fired it against the side boards in frustration.
“We haven’t been able to put together 60 minutes,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “You can tell we’re starting to squeeze the sticks. Loose pucks up for grabs, instead of calmly making a play or corralling the puck, we’re slapping it away and throwing it away from ourselves.
“Usually that’s a sign of confidence. That’s the one thing we have to try and correct.”
NOTES: Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves were out of the lineup again for Anaheim after re-aggravating injuries from training camp. … Buffalo F Kyle Okposo did not play for the second consecutive game due to an illness. … Fowler played in his 500 NHL game, all with the Ducks. At 25, Fowler is the youngest Ducks player in franchise history to reach the 500-game mark.
Sabres: Visit Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Ducks: Host Montreal on Friday night.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — John Gibson showed up on time for the start of the hockey game. His Anaheim Ducks teammates decided to wait until the second period to really get into the game.
Gibson made 38 saves and the Ducks beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Wednesday night, ending a four-game losing streak to New York.
Andrew Cogliano, Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves all scored for the Ducks, who won despite being outshot 41-30.
Ryan Getzlaf rocketed a pass from the far boards to Josh Manson on the opposite side of the ice. The defenseman’s shot ricocheted off the pads of Jaroslav Halak to the front of the net. Corey Perry and Nick Leddy both whiffed on their attempts to corral the puck, but the on-rushing Cogliano backhand attempt beat the goaltender to give the Ducks their first lead in the opening period this season only 37 seconds into the game.
Brock Nelson tied the game tipping Scott Mayfield’s blueline shot through traffic up and over the glove of John Gibson.
“We’re going to have to find another formula as far as trying to stimulate our group from the start of the game,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We scored our goal, killed a penalty, and then we go flat. We relied on our goaltender to bail us out. Your goaltender can only do that so many times. That has to change with our group. We played better after the first period and got ourselves back into the hockey game.”
Beyond the opening flurry, the Islanders controlled the play in the first period, outshooting Anaheim 21-6.
“We weathered the storm and got out of there tied,” said Gibson. “It wasn’t something to be proud of, but we got out of it.”
Midway through the second, Anaheim took a 2-1 lead. Cam Fowler ripped a shot from the top of the circle towards the net. Rakell deflected the puck down the ice and it bounced through the collapsing five-hole of Halak.
With Ryan Kesler out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Rakell made the move from wing to center, between Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg. The shift hasn’t put a damper on the offensive output of the group.
“My whole line is playing pretty well, said Rakell. “I had five shots tonight. Silvy (Jakob Silfverberg) had five shots tonight. Cogs had some shots, too. We’re generating a lot of scoring chances.”
Shortly after Anaheim killed its fifth penalty of the game, Eaves put the Ducks up by two. Eaves returned to the lineup after missing the entire preseason and the first three games of the regular season with a lingering lower-body injury.
“I just shot it as hard as I could,” said Eaves of his goal. “I wasn’t really aiming. I didn’t have a great angle, but Mans (Josh Manson) laid a flat puck out there for me so I could get a lot on it.
“It was just off a set breakout. He lugged it in, took it behind the net and I was finding the soft spot.”
New York responded 90 seconds later.
Brock Nelson scored his second goal from just a few feet in front of the Ducks goaltender. Gibson had his glove outstretched and the puck flew right over it.
Anthony Beauvillier was sent off the ice for holding to give the Ducks their fourth power play of the game. Derek Grant appeared to score.
Islanders head coach Doug Weight challenged the goal asserting the Ducks were offside. After review, the goal was overturned.
“It was a good catch by the guys upstairs and the guys in the room,” said Weight. “There was no doubt it was offside so it was a big call for us and it gave us a chance to get back.”
NOTES: Ducks F Ondrej Kase, injured in Monday’s game, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury … Both the Ducks and Islanders are 0-for-15 on the power play through four games this season … During second period TV time-out, Ducks honored 20 Orange County residents who were injured, or acted as first responders during the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Islanders: Visit San Jose on Saturday night.
Ducks: Visit Colorado on Friday night.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Early in his first season with Calgary, Mike Smith is already helping the Flames purge some unwanted history.
Smith made 43 saves and the Flames ended a 25-game skid at Honda Center with a 2-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.
Calgary hadn’t won at Anaheim since Jan. 19, 2004. It ended that streak behind a gem from Smith, acquired in a trade with Arizona in the offseason.
“When you play a team that long and you’re not on the winning part of it, I think it gets old pretty fast,” Smith said. “I’ve been on teams when it’s happened to me. I wanted to help this team get over that hump.”
What the first period lacked in scoring, it made up for in animosity.
Ducks forward Corey Perry cross-checked Flames captain Mark Giordano, and hovered over Giordano as he was down on the ice. Travis Hamonic took exception and immediately engaged Perry in a fight.
“He’s one of the better players in the league,” Hamonic said. “If you can get him off (the ice) and sitting on the bench for seven minutes, I’m doing my job.”
The game was scoreless until late in the second period, when Kevin Bieksa’s cross-checking minor gave the Flames their fourth power play. Calgary had been unsuccessful with the man-advantage until Johnny Gaudreau fired a cross-ice pass from above the far-side circle to Kris Versteeg in front of the crease. Versteeg’s initial shot was blocked by Cam Fowler, but the puck rebounded to Sean Monahan, who beat a lunging John Gibson.
Monahan picked up his first goal of the season, and Gaudreau earned his fifth point in three games.
The Ducks continued to carry the play in the third. Midway through the period, Ryan Getzlaf lost a battle along the boards. The puck got through to Michael Frolik, who bolted it up the ice. Frolik sent a pass through the legs of Brandon Montour to an on-rushing Mikael Backlund. Gibson appeared stunned as Backlund roofed the 2-0 goal.
“We weren’t crisp,” Perry said. “Our game is moving the puck, skating, getting in on the forecheck and banging bodies. We haven’t really consistently done that yet. It’s a work in progress.”
Anaheim outshot Calgary 34 to 19 in the second and third periods, and it was Smith who was the difference. The shutout is the 34 of Smith’s career and first with Calgary.
“He’s been unbelievable for us so far, huge for us,” Frolik said.
“We’ve got to clean up and not give up too many shots, but it’s nice to know we have a really solid goaltender back there who will stop a lot of pucks.”
Coach Glen Gulutzan added: “He gives us confidence with just his puck play and the saves he is making. Our team has a real sense of security there.”
As for ending that 25-game losing streak, Gulutzan was quick to downplay the significance.
“I think it’s probably more relieving for Flames fans than ourselves,” Gulutzan said. “We weren’t too caught up in it.”
NOTES: Ducks F Ondrej Kase left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. … Ryan Getzlaf and Jaycob Megna made their season debuts for Anaheim. … Calgary F Jaromir Jagr did not dress for a third game after signing with the Flames. … The game took place as planned despite the wildfires in surrounding areas.
Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Ducks: Host New York Islanders on Wednesday night.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Wayne Simmonds ended things quickly in overtime.
Simmonds scored 44 seconds into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
The puck ricocheted off Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano skate and directly to the open Simmonds. He quickly gained control and snapped a shot past goalie John Gibson for the Flyers’ second victory in three games.
“It’s tough playing out west, there’s a lot of big bodies,” Simmonds said.
“For us we just wanted to use our speed and keep skating and skating and skating. We came away with two points so we accomplished our goal.”
Philadelphia defenseman Ivan Provorov beat Gibson stick-side to give the Flyers the early lead. Assisting on the goal and earning his first NHL point was Nolan Patrick, the second-overall pick this summer.
For the second game in a row, the Ducks allowed their opponents to score first.
“I’d like to see us come out and put teams on their heels instead of vice versa. We haven’t in the first couple of games, but the season is still young. I expect us to improve,” said defenseman Cam Fowler.
Minutes later, Ondrej Kase’s cross-crease pass connected with Antoine Vermette for the one-timer, beating Brian Elliott, and tying the game.
The second period was lackluster for both teams.
The Ducks did not record a shot on goal for nearly 14 minutes.
The Flyers were equally unremarkable until late in the period when Jakub Voracek wrestled his way toward the Anaheim crease with Ducks draped all over him. The Philadelphia forward sent a beautiful backhand pass to Sean Couturier. All alone in front of Gibson, Couturier slammed home the puck to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead going into the second intermission.
The Ducks were forced to kill their fifth penalty when Vermette was taken off for slashing. Smooth-skating Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler picked off a puck at the blue line and skated in on a breakaway, sending the puck past Elliott to once again tie it.
The Ducks may have tied the game, but Philadelphia dominated the third period – outshooting Anaheim 15-4. Simmonds attributed it to the Flyers dedication to rolling four lines. Elliott gave credit to the speed of the skaters in front of him. Head coach Dave Hakstol applauded his team’s preparation and readiness to face a depleted Ducks roster full of players stepping up to fill the void.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was short in his assessment of the game.
“We’ll take the point and move on. It wasn’t one we could say we played very well in as a whole. We had some spurts, but we didn’t really have consistency going.”
NOTES: Ducks F Nick Ritchie is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, and Ryan Getzlaf missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Ritchie and Getzlaf join Hampus Lindholm, Ryan Miller, Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen, and Patrick Eaves already on the sideline to start the year. … Undrafted free-agent signing F Giovanni Fiore made his NHL debut for the Ducks . Antoine Vermette’s goal was his 500 NHL point.
Flyers: At Nashville on Tuesday night.
Ducks: Host Calgary on Monday night.
“The Vegas Golden Knights have made their initial player selections! Jen Neale and King Tufficult join host Jesse Cohen immediately following the NHL Awards Show and Expansion Draft from Las Vegas, Nevada.”
LAS VEGAS – Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky won the 2017 Vezina Trophy Wednesday night, becoming the first two-time winner of the award since Tim Thomas did it with the Boston Bruins.
The award is voted on by the league’s 30 general managers.
During the regular season, Bobrovsky posted NHL leading numbers: 2.06 goal-against average and a .931 save-percentage. He was third in the NHL in shutouts (7) and third in wins at 41, which is a career high for the Blue Jackets’ goaltender.
In addition to his Vezina win, Bobrovsky nabbed a Hart Trophy nomination this season where he finished third behind Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid, who won the award.
It’s no secret that Bobrovsky has struggled with confidence and health throughout his career. This season was a bounce-back he desperately needed. With his resurgence, Bobrovsky helped lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to their best season in franchise history, which included a 16-game win streak.
LAS VEGAS – Brent Burns. Fashion icon. Man-bun enthusiast. Descendant of Chewbacca. And now James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
This season Burns set a San Jose Sharks franchise high in goals (29) and points (76) by a defensemen. Burns was the only nominee that received points on every single ballot received from the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
On stage, Burns went out his way to thank the other nominees, Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman. He pointed out Karlsson’s incredible saucer pass during the playoffs, and laughed saying his coaches probably wouldn’t be too happy if he did the same thing.
“In which the boys speak with Jen Neale from Puck Daddy about the Ducks’ expansion draft strategy”
• It’s so nice of Chewbacca to take his kids to meet Brent Burns at his offseason job in Walt Disney World. [@Burnzie88]
• Shortly after the Buffalo Sabres hired Jason Botterill as GM, Kim and Terry Pegula decided to hike prices for season ticket holders – again. A practice that’s become a regular since they took ownership. [Buffalo News]
• Kris Russell’s one year engagement with the Edmonton Oilers is coming to an end. He’d like to stay with the Oilers, but he’d probably also like to get
over paid. [Edmonton Journal]