ANAHEIM -- Zemgus Girgensons scored the winning goal in the 10th round of a shootout as the Buffalo Sabres pulled out a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks Friday night in Honda Center.
The Sabres won the lengthy shootout, 3-2, with Anders Nilsson making eight saves. Ryan O'Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen also scored, with Ristolainen's beautiful deke in round nine keeping things alive.
The Sabres improved to 2-6 in shootouts this year and backup goalie Nilsson has won both of them. He beat Pittsburgh Nov. 17 in Buffalo.
Road woes: The Sabres entered the game with six straight losses away from home and an unsightly 11-19-6 road record. That looks even worse when you consider they opened the season 4-1-2 on the road.
Three chances, but how many successes?: Through 40 minutes, every game on the trip was winnable. The Sabres were trailing, 2-1, Tuesday in San Jose en route to a 4-1 loss. They were scoreless Thursday in Los Angeles and fell, 2-0. And the score was even at 1-1 here Friday.
First-period recap: The Sabres went scoreless for the sixth straight period and the Ducks took a 1-0 lead on Richard Rakell's 31st goal of the season at 11:48. It came when Anders Nilsson failed to catch Cam Fowler's shot from the point, with the puck hitting Nilsson in the wrist and dropping just in front of the net. Rakell was able to quickly poke it home in front of Cody Franson.
Pulling even: The Sabres were outshot, 17-7, in the second period but got the only goal on a fluke bounce. O'Reilly was credited with his 17th as Jake McCabe's shot skittered through the glove of Jonathan Bernier and hit O'Reilly in the right skate. Luck o' the Irish or not, the puck bounced into the net behind a startled Bernier for O'Reilly's 17th goal of the season.
Snapping the drought: The O'Reilly goal ended Buffalo's scoreless streak at 154 minutes, 25 seconds. Jack Eichel scored 70 seconds into Tuesday's game and Buffalo had not scored since.
New lines: With just one goal in the first two games of the trip, coach Dan Bylsma tried a major reshuffling of his forward lines. The biggest news was moving O'Reilly out of the middle on to Eichel's wing with Tyler Ennis. The other new lines had Girgensons between Evander Kane and Matt Moulson and Sam Reinhart back at center between Brian Gionta and Justin Bailey. The line of Evan Rodrigues between Marcus Foligno and Hudson Fasching stayed intact from Thursday's game in Los Angeles.
Back-to-backs: The Sabres completed the 15th of their NHL-high 19 sets of games on consecutive games. They are 6-6-3 in the first half and 6-8-1 in the second half.
Sick bay: Defenseman Taylor Fedun, just up Thursday from Rochester, left after one period with a foot injury after being checked into the boards in front of the Buffalo bench by Anaheim's Jared Boll.
In the house: The Ducks announced a crowd of 14,556 in the 17,174-seat arena. The in-house crowd wasn't remotely close to that. It was akin to a gathering in a place like Florida or Carolina. It's the fourth time in the last five home games the Ducks have failed to crack 15,000.
Up Next: The Sabres headed to the airport immediately after the game to take a red-eye home and will be off Saturday. They will practice at home Sunday and then return to the skies to head to Detroit to make their final appearance in Joe Louis Arena Monday night. Then quickly back to Buffalo to host Pittsburgh Tuesday in KeyBank Center.