BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres had tired legs in the second game of a back-to-back set. Linus Ullmark, however, was rested and ready to go.
The backup goaltender made 36 saves in his second NHL shutout and the Sabres got goals from Rasmus Dahlin and Jeff Skinner in beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Saturday night to snap a two-game skid.
“Back-and-forth travels, not just back-to-backs at home or something like that, that takes a toll on your body. It’s hard,” Ullmark said. “Obviously, you’re going to be a little tired the second day. So for me it’s about being mentally sharp even more when I get in there.”
Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret was taken out of the press box on a stretcher early in the third period. It was unclear what happened to the 76-year-old Jeanneret, the team’s play-by-play man since 1971 — marking the longest tenure with a single team in NHL history.
Buffalo did not provide an immediate update on his condition following the game, but one was expected. WGR radio, the Sabres’ flagship station, reported Jeanneret was responsive before getting onto the stretcher.
Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart each had two assists and Connor Sheary added an empty-net goal.
“I’m just happy we ended on a win going into the break,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “The guys should be able to relax and regain some energy.”
The Ducks finished a five-game road trip with their third consecutive loss following a 9-0-1 stretch. John Gibson stopped 21 shots.
“Playing on the road for 10 days here, it’s been tiresome at times,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We had developed a blue-collar type of attitude and we were more of that hockey club tonight than in our last game.”
Skinner scored his 26th of the season to make it 2-0 with 8:35 remaining. Skinner maneuvered around Ducks defenseman Pontus Aberg to the right edge of the crease and lifted a backhand over Gibson’s glove into the far corner of the net.
Buffalo took a 1-0 lead late in the first on a power-play goal from Dahlin, the 18-year-old defenseman selected first overall in this year’s draft.
Dahlin received a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen at the top of the right circle and launched a wrist shot over Gibson’s glove and inside the near post for his fourth of the season. The goal ended an 0-for-9 drought on the power play for the Sabres and was Dahlin’s first at home.
“I’ve been waiting for it,” Dahlin said. “It was good that the first one was in a win.”
Gibson stopped 15 shots in the second period to keep the Ducks within a goal. His best sequence came when he denied Skinner on a partial breakaway and then slid over to make a glove save on Eichel’s point-blank shot off the rebound.
The Ducks made a push in the third period, but Ullmark made 15 saves and the Sabres killed three penalties.
BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
Jeanneret opened the broadcast dressed in a red Santa Claus suit and a white beard. After the Sabres broadcast went silent for a stretch in the third period, color commentator Rob Ray took over calling the play by play. Later, pregame and postgame host Brian Duff finished calling the game.
Jeanneret entered the Hockey Hall of Fame as the 2012 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Award. In 2014, he was diagnosed with throat cancer but only missed a few games during the 2014-15 season after receiving treatment. In 2016, he was fitted with a pacemaker due to a slow pulse.
In recent years, Jeanneret and the Sabres reached a deal to scale back his work and have him call about half the team’s games.
NOTES: Ducks D Jake Dotchin received a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct penalties after he stood in the runway to the dressing room and yelled at the conclusion of the second period. … Reinhart extended his career-best point streak to 12 games. It’s the longest active streak in the NHL. … Eichel recorded a point in his eighth straight game. … Dahlin has 20 points this season, the 10th-most by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday. Housley holds the record with 57 points in the 1982-83 season. … Buffalo assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester after defensemen Jake McCabe and Lawrence Pilut returned from injured reserved for Thursday’s loss at Washington.
Ducks: At San Jose on Thursday.
Sabres: At St. Louis on Thursday.
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