ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ryan Getzlaf and Evgeny Artyukhin scored 62 seconds apart to trigger a four-goal first period, Bobby Ryan connected on a power play, and the Anaheim Ducks extended their home winning streak to eight games with a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Mike Brown and rookie Troy Bodie also scored for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller made 17 of his 41 saves during the first 20 minutes in the only meeting between the teams this season. The victory was the seventh in eight starts for Hiller.
Patrick Lalime made his seventh start of the season for Buffalo while Ryan Miller was originally given the night off before Thursday night’s game at Los Angeles.
But Lalime, looking for his 200th NHL victory, allowed four goals on 11 shots in the first 10:26.
That left coach Lindy Ruff with no choice but to switch goalies with a 4-0 deficit, after Lalime gave up Ryan’s 22nd of the season. Miller stopped 18 of 19 shots in his first relief outing.
Whatever Ruff told his players during the first intermission must have resonated. The Sabres, who scored a season-high seven goals in Monday’s victory at Arizona, sliced the deficit in half with goals 28 seconds apart by Tim Connolly and Clarke MacArthur before the period was a minute old.
Connolly’s 100th NHL goal, which extended his point streak to 13 games, came during a power play while Artyukhin was serving a roughing penalty.
Buffalo’s Steve Montador, who played 65 games with the Ducks last season, cut Anaheim’s lead to 4-3 at 6:12 of the second when he intercepted a pass deep in the Ducks’ zone and backhanded his third goal of the season past Hiller’s stick.
But Bodie’s goal clinched it with 4:07 to play. The loss was the first for the Northeast Division-leading Sabres since a 5-2 defeat at Washington on Dec. 23. It dropped them two points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Capitals, following Washington’s 3-2 home win against Detroit.
The Ducks, who won both meetings with Buffalo last season, set franchise records for the fastest two, three and four goals from the start of a game. Getzlaf began the scoring blitz just 51 seconds after the opening faceoff, converting a rebound for his 13th goal. Artyukhin scored his fourth goal on a breakaway, and Brown made it 3-0 at 5:23 of the first.
Anaheim is two wins away from matching the longest home winning streak in franchise history, which was set two seasons ago. The Ducks begin a six-game road trip Thursday at San Jose and don’t return to Honda Center until Feb. 3 against Detroit.
NOTES: Miller has made only one start against the Ducks. That was on Dec. 5, 2007 at Anaheim, when he played against his brother Drew for the first time in an NHL game and lost 4-1. Drew is now with Detroit. … The Sabres have 12 goals over their past three games, with 11 different players scoring them. … Buffalo’s opponents were 2 for 44 on the power play over the previous 11 games. … Jochen Hecht scored with 53 seconds remaining for Sabres, who are 15-2-6 in one-goal games.