Chad Johnson stops 44 shots in Sabres’ 3-0 win over Ducks

Anaheim Ducks left winger Andrew Cogliano (7) battles for the puck with Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe (29) as goaltender Chad Johnson (31) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday Dec. 17, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Chad Johnson made 44 saves for his first shutout in nearly 21 months, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Evander Kane, Jack McCabe and Jamie McGinn scored for the Sabres, who rebounded from Tuesday’s shutout loss to New Jersey.

Johnson finished with the Sabres’ franchise record for saves in a regulation shutout. It was his fourth career shutout, and first since since March 21, 2014, while playing for Boston.

It was also the seventh time in 31 games the Sabres have blanked the Ducks, good for the Buffalo’s highest shutout-to-games ratio against an opponent.

Anaheim goalie John Gibson finished with 19 saves.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau’s 300th game with the club didn’t lessen the pressure on the struggling team, which held Buffalo to 22 shots but couldn’t get anything going.

Anaheim’s struggling power play failed to convert in three opportunities, making it five games and 13 chances without a score on the man advantage.

The Sabres were playing their fifth game in eight nights, and have not allowed a power-play goal in that stretch.

It was Anaheim’s first game since Friday, and the first of a stretch that sees the Ducks on the road for seven of eight.

The win also snapped Buffalo’s run of four-straight losses to Anaheim, a streak in which the Ducks outscored the Sabres 21-7.

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel’s backhand dump-in caught Josh Manson in the face from close range, and the Ducks defenseman had to leave the game.

Anaheim’s Chris Stewart looked set to open the scoring when a backdoor pass caught Johnson off balance, but Cal O’Reilly knocked Stewart’s shot away from goal.

Gibson slid across to stymie Johan Larsson’s attempt to jam a cross-crease pass into the goal about seven minutes into the first period.

Johnson stayed with Sami Vatanen through the finish of the Anaheim defenseman’s dash up the left side of the ice, comfortably stopping a 1-on-1.

Buffalo opened the scoring 2:36 into the second when Eichel sent a pass from the blue line to Kane, with the puck bounding off the winger’s ankle and into the goal.

McCabe doubled the advantage with 6:25 remaining in the periodwhen he pinched from the left point to snap O’Reilly’s pass behind Gibson.

It was O’Reilly’s first point since Feb. 5, 2012. The journeyman forward has played just two games this season, his first NHL action since the end of the 2011-12 season.

The Sabres capped the scoring late in the final period, as Rasmus Ristolainen cut to the slot and lost control of the puck only for McGinn to slide the loose puck past Gibson. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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