The Buffalo Sabres started their West coast road trip on a high note with a 2-0 shutout of the Anaheim Ducks inside the Honda Center.
Undisciplined play by the Ducks provided the Sabres with five power plays on the night. Buffalo scored during one and later just seconds after another on way to accruing their two goals on the night.
Their first tally came at 7:12 in the opening period. With just ten seconds left on their power play, Tyler Myers launched a shot from the left circle that went off the back boards behind the Anaheim net. Goaltender Jonas Hiller had no idea where the puck was, and Derek Roy stormed in to lift it into the top shelf for his 14th goal on the year.
Buffalo went up by two at 8:16 in the second period. As their fourth power play opportunity expired, Christian Ehrhoff fired a hard shot from afar that was tipped by Brad Boyes who stood at theAnaheimcrease. The goal was just Boyes’s fourth of the season, and ended a 22-game goal drought. Ehrhoff recorded his second assist on the night with the score.
The match turned gritty in the final minute of play, where two fights took place as Mike Weber went toe-to-toe with Ryan Getzlaf, and Robyn Regher faced off with Corey Perry. A larger melee occurred after time had expired when Patrick Kaleta found himself in an altercation with Sheldon Brookbank and Bobby Ryan, and just about everyone on the ice joined in.
Anaheim had a host of chances to reach the scoreboard as they out-shot the Sabres 43-24. But Ryan Miller was impenetrable as he secured his fourth shutout of the season, his third in 2012 and the 26th of his NHL career. His performance, which included a season-high 43 saves, should quiet all concerns that fans had about his poise following his vocal disappointment in the trade that sent Paul Gaustad to Nashville.
The contest was the first including newly-acquired center Cody Hodgson as a member of the blue and gold. The 22 year-old former Vancouver Canuck had a solid showing in the16:04he played, finishing with four shots on goal, three hits and a +1. Hogdson also won five of his eight faceoff attempts.
The win lifted Buffalo to 64 points on the season- just five out of that coveted 8th place spot in the Eastern Conference. The team will be back on the ice right away Thursday evening when they visit the HP Pavilion to meet with the San Jose Sharks.
Puck drop is scheduled for 10:30 EST and will air live on MSG.