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Getzlaf Scores Hat-Trick In 1st Period To Lead Ducks Past Sabres

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ANAHEIM (AP) — Ryan Getzlaf had three goals and an assist in the first period, linemate Dustin Penner also scored four points, and the Anaheim Ducks remained the NHL’s only unbeaten home team with a 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

Getzlaf got his first career hat trick before the first intermission as the league-leading Ducks (14-3-1) trounced the league-worst Sabres (3-15-1) for their seventh win in eight games overall.

Frederik Andersen made 25 saves and improved to 5-0 in his NHL career as Anaheim won its seventh straight at Honda Center.

Mikhail Grigorenko scored his first two goals of the season for the Sabres, who finished their three-game California road swing with back-to-back losses. Ryan Miller stopped 28 shots in the first two periods while dropping to 2-11.

The Sabres struggled defensively without key defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who sat out with a lower-body injury. Jhonas Enroth replaced Miller in the third period for the Sabres, who have lost six of seven overall. Anaheim also won 6-3 in Buffalo last Saturday.

The Ducks got a landmark performance from their captain, who is better known for setting up longtime teammate Corey Perry for the bulk of their goals.

Getzlaf finally got his first hat trick in his 574th regular-season game, and the veteran center tied the franchise record for points in a period while picking up just the second first-period hat trick in Ducks history. Teemu Selanne also did it in November 1997.

Getzlaf finished the first period with nine points in his last nine periods, including three multipoint performances in Anaheim’s last four outings to move up to second place among the league’s overall scoring leaders. He has 13 points in the Ducks’ last eight games.

Cam Fowler and Andrew Cogliano also scored for the Ducks, with Richard Rakell earning his first NHL point on a slick backhand assist for Cogliano’s second-period goal.

Penner had a goal and three first-period assists for the Ducks, still sizzling in their second game since returning from an eight-game East Coast trip. Anaheim is off to the best home start in the franchise’s two decades of existence, outscoring its opponents 33-12.

The Ducks scored just four power play goals in their first 16 1/2 games this season, dropping to last overall in the NHL, before scoring four more in a 35-minute stretch that began Wednesday against Phoenix and extended into the lopsided first period against Buffalo.

After Getzlaf batted home a rebound in the slot just 2:11 in, Fowler scored Anaheim’s second power-play goal midway through the period, beating Miller with a slap shot.

Grigorenko answered with a goal on a nifty behind-the-net pass from Cody McCormick, but Getzlaf jumped on a Buffalo turnover and fired a wrist shot for an unassisted goal a few minutes later.

Getzlaf completed the hat trick with 20 seconds left in the period, scoring on a backhand all alone in front after a pass from Perry. The traditional hat shower from the Anaheim crowd only began gradually, with many fans stunned by Getzlaf’s feat.

Penner scored his third goal of his return season in Anaheim on a backhand rebound early in the second period for his first four-point game since December 2009.

NOTES: Ehrhoff was hurt in the third period Thursday night in Los Angeles. LW Ville Leino was a healthy scratch. … … Selanne played in his 1,400th NHL game. The 43-year-old Finnish Flash is just the third European player to reach the mark, joining Nicklas Lidstrom and Jaromir Jagr. … The Ducks are 10-0-1 when Penner is in the lineup. … Ducks C Saku Koivu (upper body) and F Jakob Silfverberg (broken right hand) sat out their seventh straight games. G Viktor Fasth missed his 12th straight game with a lower-body injury, but could return to practice soon.

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