Maybe the Sabres really are starting to figure things out.
It's not easy to beat the Anaheim Ducks nowadays, but Buffalo managed to do just that Wednesday night. The Sabres got another impressive performance by Ryan Miller and goals by Derek Roy and Brad Boyes to shoot down the high-flying Ducks, 2-0.
The victory ran the Sabres streak without a regulation loss to six games (4-0-2). They are 9-3-3 in their last 15 games, finally showing a propensity toward victory that fans had expected since the offseason.
Still, they merely kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race, remaining in 12th place with 19 games to go. The next comes tonight when the Sabres visit the San Jose Sharks.
Miller made 43 saves to improve to 9-2-3 in his last 14 decisions. He has allowed one goal or none in seven of his last 15 games.
The goaltender was solid throughout the game, including when the Ducks pushed to score on a power play midway through the third period. Miller kept the Sabres ahead, 2-0, and downed the Ducks in front of 14,972 in Honda Center. Anaheim had 20 shots in the final period.
The game ended with a brawl that followed several late fights.
The fans in Orange County haven't seen their team lose often. The Ducks entered the night on a 17-4-4 burst, and they were 9-1-1 in their previous 11 home games. Miller and the Sabres slowed that run.
Center Cody Hodgson, acquired from Vancouver on Monday, was kept off the score sheet but had a quality debut. Centering for left wing Tyler Ennis and right wing Drew Stafford, Hodgson and his linemates spent plenty of time in the Ducks' zone and were responsible defensively.
The opening goal came on the opening power play, with Buffalo's man-advantage unit scoring for the second game in a row after a seven-game drought.
Ducks star Corey Perry went to the box for delay of game with 5:22 off the clock. The Sabres needed nearly all of the power play to make Anaheim pay. Defenseman Tyler Myers shot wide from the right point, and the carom went to the left side of the net. Derek Roy swooped in and slipped his shot home before Hiller could slide across the crease with 7:12 gone.
Myers was on the ice only because Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller covered a shot with time winding down on the man-advantage. The stoppage allowed Sabres coach Lindy Ruff to pull Jason Pominville from the point and insert Myers, giving Buffalo two blue-liners. The switch led to the goal. Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff got the other assist.
The goal by Roy was the only one of the first period, though Miller and Hiller had to work to keep it that way. Miller made 10 stops in the opening period, including three big saves on Ryan Getzlaf. The goalie stopped the high-scoring forward on a partial breakaway with 8:30 to go.
Hiller got a piece of his glove on Andrej Sekera's close-range blast early in the period for his top save.
Brad Boyes ended a 22-game scoring drought with his first goal of 2012. With Anaheim's Matt Beleskey racing toward his own zone after his tripping penalty expired, Ehrhoff fired a shot the center of the zone. Boyes, positioned at the right side of the crease, reached out to get a piece of the waist-high shot.
Hiller could only look skyward in resignation as Boyes' deflection found the net for his first goal since Dec. 31. The center, who missed the previous two games with a left wrist injury, has four goals in 48 outings.