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Quick Hits: Ducks 1, Sabres 0

ANAHEIM -- The Buffalo Sabres became the latest victim of the NHL's hottest team here Wednesday night.

Sami Vatanen scored a power-play goal in the second period and Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Anaheim Ducks blanked Buffalo, 1-0, in the opener of the Sabres' three-game Western road trip.

A Honda Center crowd of 16,543 saw the Ducks equal their season high with their sixth straight win. Anaheim is 13-1-1 in its last 15 games while the Sabres lost their second straight. It was Buffalo's fifth shutout loss of the season and its 19th by one goal.

The Anaheim goal came as the Ducks solved Buffalo's penalty killers. The Sabres had survived off all 18 penalties they had drawn over the last four games but the streak ended on Vatanen's goal at 3:20 of the second period. It came 59 seconds after Mark Pysyk was nailed for interference behind the Sabres net, a call that looked dubious as replays showed Nick Ritchie went down without any help from the Buffalo blueliner.

Lehner solves Ducks shooters: Anaheim had scored five-plus goals for a franchise-record four straight games, winning them all while outscoring their opponents, 21-11. But Sabres goalie Robin Lehner kept the Ducks in check in this one by making 28 saves.

Captain stymied: Buffalo captain Brian Gionta had a game-high seven shots on goal but couldn't break through against Andersen. Gionta had three on the doorstep in the first period and was stopped on all of them.

Power play failure: The Sabres had a chance to tie when Andrew Cogliano went off for interference with 5:37 to play but Buffalo did not get a shot on goal during its man advantage.

Still pushing for No. 1: Western New York native Justin Bailey came oh-so-close to breaking through for his first NHL goal in the second period but Andersen made a pad save on Bailey's rebound attempt at the edge of the crease and then puck then snuck off the left goal post. Bailey was streaking to the net on a 3-on-1 break and Andersen

Ouch-ouch-ouch: Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm took a knee-on-knee hit from Evander Kane in the first period and limped off the ice. Sam Reinhart took a puck to the groin in the second period, hobbled off. and briefly collapsed in the tunnel behind the Buffalo bench. Jamie McGinn, widely viewed as a trade chip for GM Tim Murray in the comning days, took a puck to the hand a couple minutes later. All three returned to action.

No quacking by Ducks: Anaheim outshot the Sabres, 6-2, through the first 9 1/2 minutes but didn't post another one goal the rest of the period. The Sabres got the final seven and outshot the hosts, 9-6, in a scoreless first period. It took the Ducks 1:43 into the second period to get a shot, giving them a drought of 12:21 spanning the first two periods.

Extras: Defenseman Cody Franson took the morning skate but sat out the game. Coach Dan Bylsma said he's hopeful Franson could play on the trip. Cal O'Reilly served as a healthy scratch at forward.

Weather Report: The high temperature in Anaheim was 84 degrees on Wednesday. Just thought you'd like to know.

Up next: The Sabres traveled to San Jose immediately after the game and have a scheduled day off on Thursday. They meet the Sharks Friday night in SAP Center.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

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