ANAHEIM, Calif. -- That ugly 0-fer is off Phil Housley's resume as an NHL head coach. And it's gone from the Buffalo Sabres' win column in the standings as well.
The Sabres got their first victory of the season -- and the first of Housley's career as a bench boss -- as they squeezed out a 3-1 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night in Honda Center.
Benoit Pouliot's fluky goal with 31.3 seconds left in the second period snapped a tie and lifted the Sabres to the victory. Chad Johnson made 25 saves in net to earn the first win in his second tour of duty as a Buffalo goaltender and Johan Larsson's empty-net goal with 23.4 seconds left clinched it.i
The Sabres improved to 1-4-1 and left the Arizona Coyotes (0-4-1) as the only team in the NHL without a victory. The injury-riddled Ducks fell to 2-3-1 with their second straight defeat.
Road warriors: The victory gave the Sabres consecutive wins over the Ducks in Honda Center for the first time since they won six straight from Jan. 7, 1998 to Oct. 24, 2003, when the building was known as the Arrowhead Pond. The Sabres posted a 2-1 win here last season in a 10-round shootout that was the longest in franchise history on the road.
The winning goal: Pouliot did tough work on his goal, knocking the puck past goalie John Gibson off an Anaheim defenseman after harrassing Josh Manson into a turnover in front of the Ducks' net. The goal was originally ruled for Sam Reinhart but was changed early in the third period to Pouliot, giving him his first as a Sabre after signing over the summer as a free agent following his buyout from Edmonton.
From Rochester to the scoresheet: In his first game of the season after being called up from the AHL, Justin Bailey put the Sabres up, 1-0, at 1:36 of the first period, sliding a backhander under Gibson. It was the third NHL goal in 41 games for Bailey, who had scored twice in the Amerks' season opener Oct. 6 against Syracuse.
Shortie alert: The Ducks tied the game at 15:50 of the second period as Ryan O'Reilly and Ramsus Ristolainen got crossed up at the Anaheim blue line on a power play, allowing Chris Wagner to break in alone on Johnson. He slid a nifty backhander between the goalie's legs to tie the game at 1-1.
Shortie count: The Wagner goal was the NHL-worst fifth short-handed goal against the Sabres this season. For some gruesome perspective, they gave up four all last season.
Wounded Ducks: Anaheim played the game without captain Ryan Getzlaf, who was out for the fourth time in six games with a lower body injury suffered in practice last month. And the Ducks are playing without three other key veterans coming off surgery: Center Ryan Kesler (hip) and defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen (shoulder).
Sin Bin Report: One night after the offensive-zone tripping penalty that led to the Los Angeles Kings' winning goal, Evander Kane got nailed for three more minor penalties. Two of them were slashing calls under the league's new emphasis on stick fouls. With Kyle Okposo out of the lineup due to illness, Kane is serving all these penalties while being designated as one of three alternate captains.
Penalty killing prowess: The Sabres were 0 for 3 on the penalty kill Saturday in Los Angeles but went 4 for 4 in this one to extend the Ducks' misery on the power play. Anaheim fell to 0 for 21 on the season, one of two teams to come up dry so far.
Medical Report: Buffalo center Jacob Josefson left in the second period and did not return due to an apparent ankle injury after he was checked into the end boards.
Counting the House: The Ducks announced a non-sellout crowd of 15,821. It was a typically late-arriving California crowd and was probably less than that, with most folks in these parts focused on the Dodgers' game against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
Up next: What's the catch phrase? Vegas, baby. The Sabres hit the air right after the game for their first trip to Las Vegas, where they will meet the expansion Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night in T-Mobile Arena. It will be interesting to see how much Blue & Gold will be in the house as Buffalo meets the upstarts, who improved to 4-1 with Sunday's 2-0 win over Boston.