Rasmus Ristolainen scored a tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period, and the Buffalo Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit to complete a Southern California sweep with a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
Kyle Okposo and Jeff Skinner scored 88 seconds apart in the second period to even it before Ristolainen ripped a rising slap shot through traffic and past former Sabres goalie Ryan Miller for his first goal of the season. Patrik Berglund added an empty-net goal as the Sabres followed up a blowout win over Los Angeles with a comeback in Orange County.
Okposo had a goal and an assist in his second multipoint game of the season, and Carter Hutton made several big saves in the frantic final minute. Sam Reinhart had two assists and Hutton stopped 26 shots as Buffalo wrapped up a five-game West Coast trip with three wins.
Sam Steel scored his first NHL goal and Kiefer Sherwood scored his second NHL goal for the Ducks, who lost their second straight after a 5-1-1 start to the season.
Miller made 41 saves for Anaheim against the organization with which he spent his first 12 professional seasons and won the Vezina Trophy in 2010. Miller is the Sabres’ franchise leader with 284 victories and 540 games played in net, but he lost for only the second time in his five career starts against the Sabres.
Before the game, the Ducks raised Hall of Fame forward Paul Kariya’s No. 9 to the rafters in the second number retirement in franchise history. Kariya, the first draft pick in the then-Mighty Ducks’ history, played his first nine NHL seasons with Anaheim, scoring 300 goals.
Steel scored late in the first period by tipping Brandon Montour’s long shot for his first goal in his ninth NHL game. The 20-year-old Steel, a first-round pick who led the junior Western Hockey League in scoring in 2017, cracked the Ducks’ roster out of training camp while several veterans nursed injuries.
Moments after the Ducks ended a prolonged stretch of Buffalo puck possession in the second period, Sherwood scored on a break with a long shot. The 23-year-old Ohio native grew up idolizing Kariya for their shared Japanese ancestry, and the undrafted free agent has seized a chance to play on the right wing in Anaheim with Corey Perry sidelined.
The Sabres quickly erased the lead with a pair of strong plays by Okposo, who got his first goal of the season, and Skinner, who used his speed to slip behind Anaheim’s defense for his fifth goal in nine games.
Ristolainen then ripped a rising slap shot through traffic and past Miller for his first goal of the season.
NOTES: Montour had two assists. … Anaheim F Jakob Silfverberg missed his third straight game with a broken fingertip. Perry (knee), Patrick Eaves (shoulder) and Ondrej Kase (concussion) haven’t played all season. … The teams meet again in Buffalo on Dec. 22.
Sabres: Host Montreal on Thursday.
Ducks: At Chicago on Tuesday.
Source: The Associated Press