Andersen’s first shutout of season leads Ducks over Sabres

Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Buffalo Sabres.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in his fourth career shutout, Sami Vatanen scored on a power play in the second period and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Wednesday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.

The resurgent Ducks climbed within two points of the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim is 20-4-2 since losing back-to-back games road games against the Islanders and Rangers on Dec. 21-22.

Robin Lehner made 28 saves for the Sabres, who were shut out for the fifth time. Andersen is 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average in four career starts against Buffalo. This was his first shutout of the season.

The Ducks had scored at least five goals in a franchise-record four consecutive games coming into this one but failed to get a shot on net during the final 10:38 of a scoreless first period.

Vatanen cashed in at 3:20 of the second during Anaheim's first power play, beating Lehner through multiple screens with a 45-foot wrist shot from the slot for his ninth goal. Mark Pysek was serving an interference penalty.

Anaheim has scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games, going 9 for 20 during that stretch. Buffalo's opponents were 2 for 31 with the man advantage over the Sabres' previous nine contests.

The Sabres went on a 3-on-1 rush with about 4 1-2 minutes left in the period, but Andersen made a glove save on Evander Kane's 30-foot wrist shot from the left circle. Andersen then stuck out his left leg at the last instant to rob Justin Bailey on a backhanded rebound attempt from the edge of the crease.

NOTES: Five of Anaheim's six shutout wins have been by 1-0 scores. ... Buffalo D Carlo Colaiacovo was back in the lineup in place of Mike Weber, who was traded to Washington on Tuesday after playing his first 341 NHL games with the Sabres. Colaiacovo was a healthy scratch in all but two of the team's previous 32 contests. ... The only other meeting between the teams this season resulted in a 3-0 Sabres victory on Dec. 17, with Chad Johnson making 44 saves for his only shutout of the season. ... The Ducks are 11-1-1 since C Shawn Horcoff began serving his 20-game suspension from the NHL for violating the terms of the league's performance-enhancing substances program. ... The Ducks are 21-0-3 when leading after two periods.