Jakob Silfverberg scores twice as Ducks beat Sabres to snap skid – Press Enterprise

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ANAHEIM — Trying to avoid blowing a lead for the second straight game, the Ducks held on to beat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Honda Center.

A pair of goals by Jakob Silfverberg, Sam Carrick’s seventh of the season and Adam Henrique’s fourth in the last three games held up against a late rally by the visitors as the Ducks ended their three-game losing streak.

“It feels good for me,” Silfverberg said. “It hasn’t been raining in goals as of this year, so it’s nice to get these two. Obviously big goals for the team, too, so hopefully me and the team can keep rolling.”

At 5:51 of the opening period, the Ducks capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone, leading to Silfverberg’s first goal.

Patiently moving the puck around the Buffalo zone, the Ducks pounced when the Sabres collapsed on their own net.

Cam Fowler slung a pass up top to Radko Gudas, who was free to shoot from the high slot. The Czech defenseman’s one-time slap shot found Silfverberg’s stick, redirecting the puck past goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s glove hand.

The Sabres outshot the Ducks 9-5 for the remainder of the period, but John Gibson, making his 28th start this season, denied them until it was too late.

The Ducks played one of their best periods of the season in the second. Peppering the Sabres with 19 shots over the 20-minute frame – the most for the Ducks this season – produced two more goals and a point for defenseman Olen Zellweger in his NHL debut.

“It was awesome to get the win,” Zellweger said. “I was really excited there. The first few shifts were really good out there. Overall it was a great experience.”

The 20-year-old Canadian, a second-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, was recalled from the San Diego Gulls on Tuesday, and he immediately made a difference on a power play that had been dead in the water.

The Ducks had gone 0 for 19 with the man advantage over their last seven home games, and Zellweger was given the chance to play the point. He fired the puck toward the net and Carrick batted the puck out of midair, on Angels Night, no less, giving the Ducks some cushion at 3:37.

Playing alongside Ilya Lyubushkin, Zellweger, an AHL All-Star this year, logged nearly 14 minutes of ice time and became the fifth Ducks player 20 years old or younger this season – an NHL high.

“I know him from training camp,” Ducks head coach Greg Cronin said. “He’s tenacious and I think he was focused on playing on defense. I don’t think he’s responsible for any chances against. He almost scored there in the second period. I think it was a really good baptism for him in the NHL.”

Silfverberg’s second goal came 53 seconds later, lifting the Ducks to a 3-0 lead and effectively sealing the deal against an opponent that is now 0-14 when trailing by three goals.

Another Buffalo turnover in the neutral zone – defenseman Conor Clifton stuck his toe into the ice and fell while handling the puck – preceded Mason McTavish’s 16th assist on a sharp centering pass to Silfverberg, whose wrist shot secured goal No. 4 in his 46th game this season.

The Ducks (16-30-1, 33 points) dictated the terms to Buffalo (20-23-4, 44 pts), denying the visitors a shot on goal for nearly 10 minutes while they swarmed Luukkonen with nine of their own – more than they produced in any single frame in their come-from-ahead loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Gibson delivered a strong performance for the Ducks, making 28 saves, but the Sabres got to him twice in the final five minutes.

Jordan Greenway’s power-play tip-in for the winger’s fifth goal of the season at 14:41 spoiled what would have been the Ducks’ first shutout this season.

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