BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Rookie William Karlsson scored the first two goals of his career in leading the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-1 victory over the winless Buffalo Sabres on Monday afternoon.
Ryan Kessler scored on a third-period penalty shot and Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey had a goal each during a one-sided game in which Anaheim outshot the Sabres 44-12.
The Ducks (2-1) were so dominant — and Sabres so inept — that Anaheim was outshooting Buffalo 40-10 when Kessler beat goalie Michal Neuvirth with a low shot inside the left post with 7:35 remaining.
Frederik Andersen stopped 11 shots to win his second of the season and career-best matching sixth straight. Andersen, however, was denied a chance to earn his first career shutout when Tyler Ennis converted Matt Moulson’s centering pass from behind the net at 6:36 of the third.
Neuvirth held his own by stopping 39 shots in making his first start. The trouble was, the Sabres provided little offensive support in a game Buffalo was outshot 17-3 through the first period and 29-7 through 40 minutes.
The Sabres hardly look improved in coming off a last-place finish in which they scored an NHL post-expansion-era-low 150 goals, and lost a franchise-worst 51 games. Before last year, Buffalo had never opened a season 0-3. Now they’ve done it in consecutive years.
Coming off a 6-2 loss at Chicago, Buffalo has been outscored by a combined 14-4 and outshot 131-57.
Ducks forward Patrick Maroon did not return after hurting his left leg 11 minutes into the second period. Maroon was driving up the right wing, when his left knee was clipped by Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges’ hip check near the boards. Maroon lay on the ice for several minutes and required help to be escorted to the locker room.
Perry opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 15:30 of the first. Maroon had the puck in the left circle and slipped a pass into the middle, where Perry snapped into the left side of the net.
Karlsson scored 8:15 into the second period, when he was set up in the high slot by Hampus Lindholm. Karlsson snapped a shot over diving Sabres forward Cody McCormick and just under the crossbar past a screened Neuvirth.
The Sabres were thoroughly outplayed.
They didn’t manage their first shot on net until 9:53 in, when Brian Flynn got off an off-balance shot from the left point, which Andersen easily pushed aside with his left skate.
The crowd was so unhappy that it cheered when McCormick shot the puck the length of the ice and into an open Anaheim net after the whistle blew following a delayed penalty against Buffalo late in the first period.
NOTES: Before the game, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Buffalo to announce the Sabres had been selected to host the 2016 draft. … Sabres LW Marcus Foligno did not play after getting, what coach Ted Nolan called, “banged up” in a 6-2 loss at Chicago on Saturday. Flynn made his season debut in Foligno’s place. … The Ducks conclude their season-opening four-game road trip at Philadelphia, before playing their home opener against Minnesota on Friday.
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