The Ducks just keep on winning as Andersen shuts out Sabres

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) 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.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.