ANAHEIM, Calif. -- This wasn't the start the Buffalo Sabres wanted.
Rather than leaving the first stop of their three-game West Coast road trip with a win, the Sabres blew a two-goal lead with their ugliest period of the season and lost to the Anaheim Ducks, 5-2, in Honda Center.
The Sabres fell to 5-1-1 with their first regulation loss and failed to start the season with points in each of their first three road games for the first time since 2011-12. The Ducks (5-2) scored four consecutive goals, including three in a vicious second period that included 30 penalty minutes between the two teams.
Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson scored for the Sabres. Anaheim killed seven consecutive Buffalo power plays following Olofsson's goal in the first period. The Ducks added an empty-net goal with 3:13 remaining in regulation.
Signature play: If you were to make a highlight reel of the most impressive goals by Eichel, his play in the first period Wednesday may lead the video. Eichel blocked Josh Manson's shot near the blue line, stole the puck from Manson and skated down the left-wing boards.
Eichel used his body to shield the puck from Mason in the offensive zone and scored with an impressive finishing move to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 7:35. The goal was Eichel's fourth of the season.
Goalofsson: Ducks coach Dallas Eakins told the media Wednesday morning he didn't want to see the Sabres' power play. Well, he didn't have to wait long for that happen in the first period, and his fears were justified.
Olofsson scored on a pass from Sam Reinhart during a scramble in front of the net, pushing the lead to 2-0 at 16:36. Olofsson's eight career goals have all come on the power play, an NHL record. Jeff Skinner recorded his 200th career NHL assist on the goal.
Risky business: Sabres coach Ralph Krueger risked taking a minor penalty by challenging the Ducks' goal with 1:53 left in the first period. Max Jones capitalized on a rebound beat Linus Ullmark, but Jones appeared to be offside when Jacob Larsson carried the puck into the zone.
The challenge was successful, as the goal was overturned to keep the Sabres' lead at two.
Quick response: Well, the Ducks needed only 33 seconds to put the puck into the net again. Adam Henrique tipped Manson's shot to cut their deficit to one goal. The Sabres out-shot Anaheim, 19-11, during the first period.
Anaheim goalie John Gibson stopped a number of quality scoring chances, most notably Evan Rodrigues' from the right circle at 9:12.
Chaos: That's the best way to describe what unfolded in the second period. The Sabres allowed three goals -- they had a plus-10 goal differential in their first six games -- and several skirmishes broke out, including one that send Sobotka to the trainers' room.
Rickard Rakell tied the score by capitalizing after Rasmus Ristolainen's turnover 57 seconds in to the period. Ryan Getzlaf scored on the power play at 9:14, and the Ducks pushed their lead to two goals when Henrique's shot went between Ullmark's legs.
The physical play began when Henri Jokiharju and Max Comtois exchanged jabs skating up the ice. Olofsson was then hit from behind by Carter Rowney, provoking a reaction from Reinhart. Skinner then went after Rakell for a hit on Rasmus Dahlin in the neutral zone.
Sobotka was blindsided by Nick Ritchie during a stoppage in play and Ullmark was also penalized for retaliating. Finally, a skirmish broke out when Zemgus Girgensons was hit in the head by Korbinian Holzer.
Injury updates: Winger Conor Sheary, who has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, skated Wednesday morning in Anaheim and will be evaluated Thursday in Los Angeles, Krueger told reporters.
Former Sabres prospect Brendan Guhle, a defensemen whom Anaheim acquired for Brandon Montour last February, missed a third consecutive game for the Ducks with a lower-body injury.
Next: The Sabres aren't expected to hold a morning skate at Staples Center in preparation for their game Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Players and Krueger will be available to the media sometime late in the afternoon, local time.