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Ducks doomed by scoring woes and ‘mental mistakes’ in loss to Sabres

Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson scores past Ducks goaltender John Gibson.
Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson scores past Ducks goaltender John Gibson during the first period of the Ducks’ 6-3 loss Saturday.
(Joshua Bessex / Associated Press)
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Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs each scored two goals to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Ducks on Saturday.

Olofsson gave the Sabres a 4-3 lead at 2:12 of the third period when he finished off a two-on-one break with defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin. His second goal of the game made it 5-3 at 8:07, and he set a career high with 21 goals. He’s also scored in three consecutive games.

“I feel like I had a great start [to the season] and that helped me a lot,” Olofsson said. “And then I had a small dip and I feel like these last 10 games we’ve been really clicking as a line, too, with [Casey Mittelstadt] and [Tyson] Jost.”

Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner also scored and Lyubushkin had three assists. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves for Buffalo.

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Trevor Zegras had two goals and Simon Benoit also scored for Anaheim. John Gibson made 33 saves for Anaheim, which is 1-5-1 in its last seven games.

“Just mental mistakes. It’s a game that we’re totally in, we battle back,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’re a team, an obviously rebuilding team, that we have to play a perfect game to be in the game, that’s just the way it is where we’re at as an organization. Those mental mistakes can’t happen.”

Cozens opened the scoring at 9:53 of the first when he faked out Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg and put a shot over Gibson’s shoulder.

“When you compete and work and have the talent and skill that he has, you just keep getting better,” Sabres coach Don Granato said.

Cam Fowler, Trevor Zegras and Adam Henrique each had a goal and an assist, and the Ducks overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3.

Skinner made it 2-0 at 17:39 with a snapshot past Gibson on the power play for his 19th goal of the season.

Zegras tied the score with goals at 4:47 and 8:14 of the second period.

“His play is greatly improving always,” Eakins said. “He’s obviously an offensive threat all the time, he’s gotten much better defensively and managing the puck, and his growth continues.”

Krebs’ first of the game gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead at 10:49 when he put a rebound of a wraparound attempt by Rasmus Dahlin past a sprawling Gibson. His second at 13:40 of the third provided the final score.

“I don’t think any of us have seen him rip a puck the way he scored that second goal tonight,” Granato said. “You don’t shoot that if you don’t believe you can score from there.”

Benoit made it 3-3 at 15:29 when he sent a turnaround shot toward the net and past Luukkonen.

“We can’t dwell on it. We have to learn from it and then the next game is another game,” Benoit said. “We have to keep working and try to finish the road trip over .500.”

Up next for Ducks: Visit Arizona on Tuesday for the fifth game of a six-game trip.


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