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Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. Anaheim Ducks

In this first of 29 “season outlooks,” we’ll take a look at the Anaheim Ducks and how the Buffalo Sabres have fared against them in recent years. We’ll also take a glance at some of the players to watch on the team, as well as discover when these teams will be facing off in the 2013-2014 NHL season.

The Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks will face each other twice in the upcoming season. The first game is in Buffalo at the First Niagara Center on Saturday, November 2, 2013, for a 7 p.m. matchup. The final meeting is six days later in Anaheim, on Friday, November 8 at 10 p.m., capping off the Sabres’ three-game Western road trip.

Buffalo and Anaheim did not play each other during last year’s lockout-shortened season, but Anaheim ended the season second in the Western Conference with 66 points and a 30-12-6 record.

The last time these teams faced each other was during 2011-12 season – twice. The most recent meeting was February 29, 2012 in Anaheim, a game that saw Ryan Miller stop 43 saves for a 2-0 shutout victory. The game was Buffalo’s first with Cody Hodgson (and without Paul Gaustad) and saw the Sabres extend a five-game point streak.

Derek Roy and Brad Boyes scored in the win, with assists coming from Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, and Christian Ehrhoff (2). It was a rough game, with 106 penalty minutes between the two teams. Corey Tropp, Mike Weber, Robyn Regehr and Tyler Myers each got fighting majors for the Sabres, while Patrick Kaleta was handed a misconduct.

Prior to that, the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres faced off in Helsinki, Finland as part of the NHL Premiere. Buffalo came out victorious by a score of 4-1 as Thomas Vanek had a pair of goals and an assist in the win. Ville Leino and Jason Pominville also scored, while Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots.

The acquisition of Dustin Penner via free agency was a notable move for the Ducks, but the biggest note of this offseason was the trade of Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 2014 1st-round pick. Ryan was third in points scoring on the Ducks in each of the last two seasons, scoring 30 points in 46 games last season and 57 in 82 the year prior.

Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Toni Lydman, who spent last season with the Ducks, is expected to retire prior to the upcoming season.

Players to Watch:

  • ANAHEIM: Center Ryan Getzlaf, who had 49 points in 44 games last season; right winger Corey Perry, who had 36 points in 44 games; center Saku Koivu, who recently re-signed with Anaheim after putting up eight goals and 19 assists last year with the Ducks.
  • BUFFALO: Left winger Thomas Vanek had a pair of goals and an assist in a 2011 meeting with the Ducks. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had three assists in two games against Anaheim that year.

Meetings This Season:

  • November 2 @ BUF
  • November 8 @ ANA

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