Henrique’s OT goal lifts Ducks to 4-3 win over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Ducks forward Adam Henrique was still kicking himself for losing a faceoff in his own end that led to Anaheim giving up the tying goal with 15 seconds left in regulation.
Henrique felt much better a few minutes later when he scored 1:36 into overtime for a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
”They tie it up late and it’s a tough one, but you’ve got to rebound right away and put it behind you,” said Henrique, referring to Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly beating him on the draw and then scoring to tie the game. ”I felt like I kind of owed us one there.”
It was Henrique’s 12th goal and fifth game-winner in 30 games since being acquired by the Ducks in a trade with New Jersey on Nov. 30.
Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell and Ondrej Kase also scored for the Ducks, who ended an 0-2-1 slide. Anaheim (26-19-10) kept pace in the Western Conference, where the Ducks began the day among five teams separated by one point in competing for the final playoff spot.
Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots in facing his former team for the fourth time since the Sabres traded him to St. Louis during the 2013-14 season.
Miller allowed 12 goals in his previous four games, including a 7-4 loss at Toronto on Monday night.
”I’ve had a couple of rough outings, and I’ll take anything I can get tonight,” said Miller, who has been filling in with starter John Gibson recovering from a lower-body injury. ”I appreciate the opportunity to come back and try and make a difference tonight and get the win.”
Jack Eichel had a goal and assist, and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots.
Bad breaks continued to hurt the Sabres, who dropped to 0-3-1 in their past four games.
Aside from Henrique’s shot deflecting in off the stick of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres fell behind 3-2 with 8:30 left in regulation when O’Reilly inadvertently scored into his own net while attempting to clear the puck.
”It’s a stupid play by me,” O’Reilly said after his attempt to shoot the puck behind Buffalo’s net hit Lehner’s stick and caromed in. ”I feel bad. Lenny stands on his head all season for us and I kind of put one in off him.”
On the upside, O’Reilly contributed to Buffalo earning a point by beating Henrique on the faceoff and one-timing Eichel’s pass into the slot.
”Good to see him bounce back and tie it up,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. ”It’s a difficult place to be. I’ve been there before. You try to battle back mentally. But it was a credit to him.”
Housley was unhappy with Ristolainen’s performance, noting the defenseman’s errant pass intended for Eichel was the turnover that eventually led to Henrique’s goal.
”I just think it’s just focus, bearing down at critical times,” Housley said.
At 14-29-10, the Sabres sit last in the Eastern Conference standings. Their home record dropped to 6-15-4, tied with Arizona for the fewest home wins in the NHL.
Girgensons opened the scoring with his second short-handed goal in three games by banking in his own rebound off Miller’s pad 3:22 in. Eichel put Buffalo ahead 2-1 with 2:12 left in the second period by converting Sam Reinhart’s feed through the crease.
Rakell put the Ducks on the board with a power-play goal 21 seconds into the second period, when his shot hit the right post and then caromed in off Lehner. Kase tied the game 1:57 after Eichel scored.
NOTES: Eichel’s goal was his 50th point of the season. He joined Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, Phil Housley and Christian Ruuttu in becoming the fifth Sabres player to score at least 50 points in each of their first three seasons. … With an assist on Rakell’s goal, Getzlaf reached 300 career power-play points. Only Teemu Selanne (410) has more in Ducks history. … Sabres D Jake McCabe played only one shift in the second period before leaving the game. He appeared to be hurt late in the first following a collision with Getzlaf.
Ducks: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.
Sabres: Complete a five-game homestand against the New York Islanders on Thursday.
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