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Ducks Double Up Sabres
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks closed out their brief two game homestand against the Buffalo Sabres. Earlier in the day Olen Zellweger was called up and practiced with the team. He made his NHL debut in this contest. John Gibson was in net against Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
The Ducks got on the board first just about six minutes into this contest. Radko Gudas took a slap slot from the blue line and Jakob Silfverberg redirected it for the opening score. Anaheim held a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
Anaheim then scored two more times in the second period to make it a 3-0 contest. The Ducks went on the power play early in the middle frame and Sam Carrick scored. Olen Zellweger took a point shot that was blocked, but Carrick was able to bat the rebound out of mid air and into the net.
Silfverberg would then score his second of the game just less than a minute later. Mason McTavish brought the puck down low at the side of the net and found Silfverberg in the slot for the score. The Ducks held a three goal advantage to start the third period.
The Sabres fought back in the third period. Gudas was called for interference with about six minutes to go and Jordan Greenway scored on the power play. About two minutes later and Kyle Okposo scored. Suddenly a 3-0 lead became a one goal contest.
Buffalo continued to apply pressure in the final minutes and pulled their goalie, but Adam Henrique scored an empty net goal to give Anaheim a 4-2 win.
Solid win for the Anaheim on the night that Zellweger made his debut. The Ducks were able to get the early lead and played a dominate second period to build a 3-0 lead. They outshot Buffalo 19 to 6 in the middle frame and held a 27 to 15 advantage after two periods.
Things did get precarious in the final six minutes of the game. Buffalo was able to get two goals in just over two minutes and suddenly Anaheim was holding on to a one goal lead with just under three minutes to go. Thankfully Henrique ended Buffalo’s comeback chances with an empty net score.
Zellweger looked great in his NHL debut. He kept pucks in front of him while putting his speed and puck handling skills on display. He played about 14 minutes and also saw some time on the power play. He picked up an assist after Carrick knocked a rebound from his point shot into the net. Zellweger also had two shots on goal and three block shots.
Silfverberg had his first multi goal game of the season. He passed Rickard Rakell for 5th most goals (155) in franchise history.
Olen Zellweger earned his first career NHL point in his debut.
Troy Terry was on the receiving end of a hard check in the third period and had to go to the locker room. He did manage to return and take a couple of shifts towards the end of the game.
The Ducks take on the Dallas Stars Thursday at 5PM.
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January 24th, 2023