ANAHEIM – The Buffalo Sabres went back to starter Carter Hutton in goal here Sunday night for their game against the Anaheim Ducks but it was certainly no reflection on the work of backup Linus Ullmark on this road trip.
In his first two appearances of the season after Hutton exclusively got the call in the four-game homestand that opened the season, Ullmark stopped 55 of the 56 shots he faced. He gave up only Drew Doughty's goal with 7:44 left Saturday in Los Angeles in the 5-1 win over the Kings.
Ullmark made 36 saves in the 3-0 win Oct. 13 at Arizona, opening Buffalo's road trip with his first NHL shutout. He stopped 19 of 20 shots in Los Angeles.
"Those two games weren't easy. They were really important games for our team," coach Phil Housley said before Sunday's game in Honda Center. "He's playing really well right now for us."
The Sabres did not go back to Ullmark Sunday because they generally don't plan to use either goalie for both games of a back-to-back set. The 6-foot-4 Ullmark, who has been the full-time starter the last two years in Rochester, has shown little panic in the crease during his games, with his movement seemingly more restrained than in the past.
"I just think he's very calm back there," Housley said. "He's letting pucks hit him. He's in position square to the puck and doing a terrific job. When we need a really big save at a key moment, he comes up with the save.
"It's a credit to him. He's worked very hard. We played four games without him and he had to stick with it. We appreciate the work he put in and now he's getting some good results."
The Ducks staged an elaborate pregame ceremony to retire the No. 9 jersey of former star Paul Kariya.
The banner was in the original Mighty Ducks colors the franchise made famous when it was born in 1993. It now sits in the rafters next to the No. 8 of linemate Teemu Selanne, which is in the black and brown the Ducks switched to prior to their 2007 Stanley Cup championship.
Said Ducks senior vice president David McNab of Kariya: "He will always be remembered for being the mightiest of the Mighty Ducks."
Kariya was feted from an on-ice stage by former Ducks Scott Niedermayer, Selanne and Steve Rucchin. Kariya's No. 9 joined Selanne's No. 8 as the only numbers retired in the history of the Ducks, who were born as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993. Kariya was their first draft choice, a Hobey Baker Award winner out of the University of Maine.
"He played the game with speed and skill," Housley said. "It was a very tough challenge when he was coming at you from the speed. You mainly just backed up. Obviously he was a big part of this organization, the Canadian teams and the Olympic teams. His career has been phenomenal.
The Ducks all wore No. 9 "Kariya" jerseys in warmups before switching to game throwbacks that features the '90s green and purple and Mighty Ducks logo. The No. 9 was painted on the ice behind both nets.
A Kariya trivia question: The only freshmen to win the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player were Kariya and current Sabres center Jack Eichel, who won it in 2015 at Boston University.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 21, 2018
Former New York Islanders owner Charles Wang died Sunday at 74. No cause of death was announced for Wang, who sold the team in 2014 after failing to getting the Lighthouse project built on Long Island to include a new arena for the team.
Tweeted Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, who played the first nine years of his career with the Islanders: "Sad to hear the news this morning about Charles Wang. A kind person who had an extremely unique way of looking at the world. I feel honored to have been able to spend time with him. My condolences to his family."
Sad to hear the news this morning about Charles Wang. A kind person who had an extremely unique way of looking at the world. I feel honored to have been able to spend time with him. My condolences to his family.
— Kyle Okposo (@bookerT2116) October 21, 2018
The Sabres kept the same lineup of skaters as in Saturday's win. That means Tage Thompson and Remi Elie were healthy scratches and Nathan Beaulieu sat out with the undisclosed injury he suffered Thursday when struck by a shot in San Jose.