|7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET23:00 BRT, October 16, 2019
Honda Center, Anaheim, California Attendance: 15,193
Red-hot Sabres begin Calif. swing in Anaheim
Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks
- Buffalo has won on three straight trips to Anaheim and has gone 4-0-1 in the last five games overall in this series, holding the Ducks to eight combined goals over these five games (1.6 per game).
- Buffalo has won five of its first six games in a season for the first time since 2011-12. Buffalo's +11 goal differential leads the NHL -- the last time Buffalo had a better differential through six games was 2006-07 (+12), which was also the last season in which the franchise won a playoff series.
- Anaheim has won four of its first six games without scoring any power-play goals. Since the 2004-05 lockout, the only other team to accomplish this was the 2014-15 Minnesota Wild -- that team finished the season with 100 points and won a playoff series.
- Jeff Skinner's seven-game point streak against the Ducks is the second-longest active streak in the NHL against the franchise (Pat Maroon, nine). He has 10 points (6g, 4a) over this seven-game streak, and one of Skinner's five career hat tricks came in Anaheim.
- Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist last time out, just the second Ducks player with such a game this season (Jakob Silfverberg). Henrique has 20 career points and a +11 rating against Buffalo -- he only has better marks against one opponent (21 points, +17 rating vs. Philadelphia).
- Victor Olofsson has seven power-play goals through 12 career games. The last player to score seven power-play goals in fewer career games was Teemu Selanne (10 games).
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One of two Eastern Conference teams without a defeat in regulation will take its must-see show to the West Coast as the Buffalo Sabres play at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
At 5-0-1, the Sabres have 11 points out of a possible 12 and the start to the season is their best since the 2008-09 team also opened with a 5-0-1 mark. But four of those victories have come at home, with Wednesday's game beginning a three-game California swing that also will include stops at Los Angeles and San Jose.
Buffalo's only blemish on the season was a 4-3 overtime defeat at Columbus on Oct. 7, when rookie Victor Olofsson scored on the power play to tie it with just more than a minute remaining in regulation.
Three consecutive victories have followed for the Sabres, including a 4-0 home win Monday over the Dallas Stars. That victory came against goalie Ben Bishop, who entered with a 12-0-1 mark against Buffalo in his last 13 games.
"I'm not (surprised) because of how this group has bought in right from Day 1," Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger said of his team's impressive start. "I just remember that first day (of practice), those two sessions and the interest and the communication that has been going on here. It's not surprising me."
Olofsson came away with something of an obscure record Monday, becoming the first player in NHL history to score the first seven goals of his career on the power play. He has five power-play goals this season.
"These younger guys have the whippy sticks and it's hard to pick up their release," said Sabres goalie Carter Hutton, who improved to 4-0-0 on Monday while recording his first shutout in 52 starts with Buffalo. "The puck flight isn't flat. It floats a little bit, it's almost like a riser. It's hard to save in practice so I can't imagine when he's bombing them on the power play and there's traffic and stuff. He's a pure goal scorer, that's for sure."
The Ducks also have started fast, but are coming off a 4-2 defeat at Boston on Monday afternoon. They now have to face another top Eastern Conference team in Buffalo.
Anaheim held up well during a just-completed four-game road swing that included victories at Detroit and Columbus.
"If we get a bounce here or there, we could've won every game on (the) road trip," Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer said, according to NHL.com. "We played really well over the course of the trip. Even (Monday), we needed time to settle in and get used to (Boston's) style of play. After that, we played right up to their level, maybe even better at times."
With four victories in their first six games, the Ducks are starting to distance themselves from a disappointing 2018-19 season when they missed the playoffs and saw head coach Randy Carlyle get fired.
But they did win five of their first seven last season before going on a seven-game losing streak about this time last year. The second defeat in that losing streak came at home to Buffalo.
While the Sabres are among the best teams in the NHL on the man advantage with a 42.9 power-play percentage, the Ducks have yet to score a power-play goal this season.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 16, 2019