One of these days, the Buffalo Sabres will win their 1,000th home game. The question is when.
The Sabres dropped their fifth straight home game Tuesday, suffering a 4-3 overtime loss to Ryan Miller and Anaheim. Buffalo has been stuck at 999 franchise home victories since beating Columbus on Jan. 11.
Buffalo has lost the first four games of its five-game homestand. It also lost to Dallas before a successful three-game road trip that is a distant memory.
Miller made 30 saves for the Ducks. He was playing in Buffalo for just the second time since being traded in February 2014. He hadn't skated to the crease in his longtime home since a 3-2 loss with Vancouver on Nov. 7, 2015.
Winner: Adam Henrique skated to the middle of the Sabres' zone during the three-on-three overtime, and his shot clipped the stick of Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and slipped past Lehner with 1:36 gone.
Tiebreaker: The Ducks snapped a 2-2 tie with 8:30 remaining in regulation when Buffalo center Ryan O'Reilly inadvertently shot the puck off the stick of goaltender Robin Lehner and watched in disbelief as it went into his own net.
Lehner stopped a shot by Ducks sniper Corey Perry, and the rebound was sitting at the left side of the crease. O'Reilly attempted to send the puck behind the net, but it clipped Lehner's stick for the unfortunate bounce.
Perry received credit for the goal, giving him 13 goals and 17 points in 17 games versus Buffalo.
Redemption: O'Reilly got the goal back with 14.5 seconds left. With Lehner pulled for an extra attacker, the Sabres worked the puck to O'Reilly in the slot for a one-timer that he fired home before Miller could slide across.
The Sabres outshot the Ducks, 15-7, during the third period.
Injury: Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe skated 8:26 during the first period but did not return following intermission. McCabe absorbed an elbow from Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf during a scrum at the side of Buffalo's net.
The big short: The Sabres' short-handed unit is becoming a potent weapon. Once again, Zemgus Girgensons showed why.
One minute into a penalty by Buffalo's Rasmus Ristolainen, Girgensons broke out of his zone for a one-on-one battle with Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler. Girgensons chipped the puck past Fowler, got it back and took a shot that Miller stopped. Girgensons kept going past Fowler, reached the rebound below the goal line and banked it off Miller with 3:22 gone.
Girgensons has two short-handed goals in the past three games. The Sabres have three shorties in the past five.
— NHL (@NHL) February 7, 2018
After one: The Sabres maintained their 1-0 edge through 20 minutes, giving them a first-intermission lead for just the 11th time in their 53 games. Lehner stopped all 11 shots he faced, while Miller turned aside 12 of 13.
Quick tie: The Ducks needed just 21 seconds of the second period to tie it up. They entered with 42 seconds of carryover power-play time, and they made Buffalo pay.
Rickard Rakell bounced the rebound of a Getzlaf shot off the post, and it caromed off Lehner and into the net for the 1-1 tie. Rakell has 22 goals in 50 games.
In front: Despite being outplayed for much of the second period, the Sabres nearly escaped with a 2-1 lead. Their power play put them in front and needed only eight seconds to do it.
O'Reilly won a draw in the Ducks' zone with 2:50 left. The Sabres quickly worked the puck to Kyle Okposo at the right point. He skated toward the net and passed to Sam Reinhart in front, and the right winger put a beautiful touch pass onto the stick of goal-scorer Jack Eichel with 2:42 to go.
Buffalo's power play has 12 goals in the last 12 games. Okposo has 12 points in 11 games. Reinhart has 10 points in nine games after a two-assist night.
Hitting back: The Sabres held the lead for only 2:03 as Anaheim struck with 38.7 seconds left in the period. Lehner stopped a point shot, but Ondrej Kase put the rebound between the goaltender's pads for a stunning finish to the period.
Anaheim outshot the Sabres, 14-5, during the second to build a 25-18 lead.
Milestone: Eichel's 21st goal gave him 50 points for the season. He joined Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Phil Housley and Christian Ruuttu as the only Sabres to record at least 50 points in each of their first three NHL seasons.
Going big: In an attempt to combat the Ducks' big forwards, the Sabres scratched defenseman Victor Antipin in favor of 6-foot-5 Justin Falk. He started with McCabe. Josh Gorges sat for the second straight game and sixth time in the last seven.
Line changes: Ryan O'Reilly centered left wing Evander Kane and right wing Kyle Okposo. Jack Eichel was in the middle of Girgensons and Sam Reinhart. Evan Rodrigues was between Scott Wilson and Jason Pominville. Jacob Josefson centered Benoit Pouliot, who was playing his 600th NHL game, and Jordan Nolan.
Center Johan Larsson sat the second game of his two-game suspension.
Hockey is for Everyone: As part of a league-wide initiative, the Sabres celebrated "Hockey is for Everyone Night." Players used pride tape during warmups. For the national anthems, six skaters joined the Sabres' starters on the ice. They came from Hasek's Heroes, Seneca Nation Cattaraugus Community Center, Buffalo Sabres Thunder, SABAH, the Buffalo Beauts and the Buffalo Sabres Warriors.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced 16,788 tickets sold, but once again the actual attendance was much lower.
Next: The Sabres close their five-game homestand Thursday when they host the New York Islanders. After visiting the Boston Bruins on Saturday, they return home for two more games. They host Colorado on Sunday and Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Story topics: Jake McCabe