The Anaheim Ducks haven't earned favorable results in most of their recent visits to Buffalo but appear to have a good opportunity to get one Saturday night.
The Ducks will try to keep the Sabres - owners of the NHL's worst record - winless at home while bouncing back from having their three-game win streak snapped.
Anaheim (10-3-1) is 1-4-1 with two ties in its last eight trips to Buffalo, scoring no more than two goals in all but one of them, but will face a team that's 0-7-1 at home this season. The Sabres (2-12-1) are also off to the worst overall start in franchise history after their third straight loss Thursday, 2-0 to the New York Rangers.
The Ducks are 3-2-1 on an eight-game road trip, which ends Monday against the Rangers, after blowing a chance for two points Thursday in Boston. They wasted a pair of one-goal leads, allowing a power-play tally with 2:50 left in regulation, and didn't record a shot in overtime before missing all three shootout attempts in a 3-2 defeat.
"That's three games in a row that we've taken a penalty in the last two minutes of the game," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The Ducks had won each of their previous three games by one goal and scored in the final five minutes of regulation to win the last two.
"When we have a 2-1 lead going into the third period with less than five minutes remaining, you have to come out with two points," defenseman Bryan Allen said.
Anaheim was playing its first game without veteran forward Teemu Selanne, who is expected to miss at least two weeks. Selanne needed surgery after losing several teeth to an inadvertent high stick in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
The Ducks have lost the last three meetings with the Sabres but haven't faced them since a 2-0 defeat Feb. 29, 2012, when Ryan Miller stopped 43 shots. Miller, though, is 1-10-0 this season and has lost his last six starts while posting a 3.58 goals-against average.
However, Miller has faced a league-high 405 shots, including 46 on Thursday to match the most he's seen this season. The Sabres were outshot for the fifth straight game - their opponents have 80 more in that span - and gave up a power-play goal for the eighth time in 10 contests.
"If we want this to stop, it will stop," Miller said. "Everyone has to increase their intensity. When everyone wants this to stop, it will. You have to work your way out of it.
"We have to play hard and work hard for each other. We have to have the right approach. We're searching. Enough is enough."
Matt Moulson didn't have a shot after scoring two goals in his debut with the team, a 4-3 loss to Dallas on Monday. Moulson was acquired Sunday along with two draft picks in a deal that sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders.
Buffalo's eight-game winless streak at home is its longest to open a season and second-longest in a single season to a 12-game drought Jan. 27-March 10, 1991.
Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta was eligible to return to the lineup after serving a 10-game suspension for a high hit on Columbus' Jack Johnson on Oct. 10, but the team placed him on waivers. Kaleta, suspended or fined six times in his career, can report to Buffalo's American Hockey League affiliate if he's not claimed.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Anaheim Ducks