ANAHEIM — If you thought that the Ducks-Sabres game looked like a reasonable facsimile of their meeting less than a month ago in Buffalo, you would be on the right track.
Jan. 21: The Ducks rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 only to lose, 6-3, at KeyBank Center.
Wednesday: The Ducks trailed 2-0 after the first period, fought back to tie it, briefly took the lead and eventually lost, 7-3, at Honda Center.
It was their third consecutive loss and they’ve allowed a combined 142 shots on goal while being outscored 20-8 in those three games. The Ducks have won just once in four games since an injury to Troy Terry, their second-leading scorer.
Getting the start for the Ducks was rookie goaltender Lukas Dostal, who made 37 saves. It was Dostal’s first start with the Ducks since Dec. 23. He was recalled from AHL San Diego due to the injury to goaltender Anthony Stolarz, who is considered day-to-day.
Buffalo, which snapped a four-game losing streak, spread out the offense. Peyton Krebs, Jack Quinn, Tyson Jost, Alex Tuch, Casey Mittelstadt, Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin each had two points and Tage Thompson scored his 36th goal of the season to lead the Sabres.
All three Ducks goals came from defensemen. Cam Fowler scored twice – his eighth and ninth goals of the season – for the fourth two-goal game of his 13-year career and Kevin Shattenkirk scored his first of the season.
One of the continuing themes of this season for the Ducks has been exceedingly slow starts. They didn’t record their first shot on goal until there was 4:40 remaining in the first period (by defenseman Nathan Beaulieu) and were outshot, 19-3 in the first 20 minutes.
Buffalo led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Jost and Thompson, who scored on the power play with a blast from the left circle at 15:58. The Ducks responded with three second-period goals: Shattenkirk pulled the Ducks within one at 6:37, Fowler tied it 2-2 at 7:48 with a shot through traffic and converted a rebound to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead at 13:08.
After that, it was all Sabres as Buffalo scored five unanswered goals, two in the second period and three more in the third.
The Ducks’ scratches were forward Max Comtois and defenseman Colton White. Comtois has been a healthy scratch the past two games.
More to come on this story.