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Niedermayer's announcement sparks Ducks over Sabres

Dec 6, 2007 - 7:32 AM
By Craig Shultz PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Brothers were the focus when the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, on Wednesday night, but not the two who were battling on the ice.

While Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller played against his younger brother, Ducks rookie Drew, for the first time in an NHL game, it was one of Anaheim's Niedermayer siblings who was in the spotlight.

It was announced before the game that reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer will be rejoining his brother, Rob, on Anaheim 's roster. Scott Niedermayer had been contemplating retirement since the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in June and has not played this season.

"I know everyone in this room is happy to have him back," Rob Niedermayer said of his brother. "I didn't want to put any pressure on him, it was a big decision for him. ... I'm glad he made the right one. Anytime you get any new guy, it brings a lot of life into the room."

His return to the ice, which could come in as little as 10 days, could be the spark the Ducks are looking for. Following Wednesday's win, the defending champions are just 13-12-4.

"There's no doubt about it. We're an excited group to have Scotty coming back," said Andy McDonald, who had a goal and an assist. "He's such a terrific player. We're going to become that much better as a team."

"It's always nice when you can add that type of player back into your lineup," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle added. "We think this transaction at some point here in the future will pay dividends, or we wouldn't have done it. He was a big part of our success last year."

Mathieu Schneider, who Anaheim signed to help overcome the loss of Scott Niedermayer, and Todd Bertuzzi, who was signed because Teemu Selanne also is still pondering retirement, scored second-period goals in this one to put the Ducks ahead.

Schneider snapped a 1-1 tie with 7:38 left, scoring a power-play goal on a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle as Bertuzzi screened Ryan Miller in front of the crease.

Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the season - and first at home - with 1:40 remaining in the session, taking a cross-ice pass by McDonald from along the left wing boards and redirecting the puck over Ryan Miller's outstretched left pad to give the Ducks a 3-1 bulge.

"It's nice to contribute, but it's got to continue," Bertuzzi said.

"I'm really happy for Bert," McDonald said. "He's worked pretty hard. I think he's playing really well for us right now. He's skating hard, he's controlling the puck. Hopefully, we can build off tonight. We had some positives tonight, but there's a lot of room for improvement still."

Carlyle called the Ducks' effort one of their best of the season.

"I think that was the most workman-like 60 minutes that we've played in probably the last 60 days," he said. "(The Sabres are) a good team. They can get through that neutral ice, they have skill, they're a well-coached hockey club, they're an elite team from the Eastern Conference.

"After the first period, we were very, very good. We started to take control of the puck and created a lot for ourselves. We started to wear them down."

The second period was Buffalo's downfall.

"I thought we played a good first and a good third, but we played a terrible second period that cost us the game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

"The second period went wrong. We didn't answer the call," Ryan Miller admitted. "They were forechecking well and we couldn't get through their zone, and when we did, we couldn't get the puck deep."

Despite the loss, Ryan Miller enjoyed playing against his brother. The two embraced in front of the benches after the game.

"It was just fun to play against him. It was a unique experience," Ryan Miller said. "You don't grow up ever expecting to play in the NHL, but you dream of it. We shared that dream and both have seen it come true, and it's pretty amazing."

"It was fun. It's one of the few times that we've gotten to play in a game against each other," Drew Miller added. "I got a couple of good chances against him, but he shut the door on me."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 22 shots for the Ducks to avoid his third straight defeat. He thinks the addition of Scott Niedermayer will bring added stability to his game.

"He makes everybody a better player, he makes the team a better team, plus he's just an exceptional person. It's going to be fun to have him back," Giguere said. "We're going to need to still do our job. Scotty's not going to win it all for us.

"We need everybody to do their job, like we did tonight. And we're going to need a lot more of that if we want to be successful until the end of the season."

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the opening session as the puck squirted between Jason Pominville and Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin just inside the Ducks' blue line. Pominville recovered the loose puck and went in on a 2-on-0 with Jochen Hecht.

Pominville skated low into the right circle and feathered a pass to Hecht, who scooped up the puck and sent a wrist shot past a helpless Giguere for his ninth goal of the season.

"I don't know exactly what happened, but it was a nice pass from Pominville across and I just tipped it in," Hecht said.

Anaheim tied the game with 4:27 left in the first on a goal by McDonald. From the left point, Kent Huskins sent a crisp cross ice pass to fellow blue-liner Joe DiPenta.

DiPenta returned the puck to Huskins, who fired a slap shot into traffic in front. The puck ricocheted off a defender and rolled toward the right goalpost, where McDonald - who was stationed at the edge of the crease - tapped it across the goal line.

Ryan Miller made 29 saves, including two against his brother, for the Sabres.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 0 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY) 4:07
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 4 (KENT HUSKINS, JOE DIPENTA) 15:33
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 3 (CHRIS PRONGER, RYAN GETZLAF)
    12:22
    ANA - TODD BERTUZZI 2 (AND

    Dec 6 12:36 AM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    ANAHEIM 4
    3RD PRD: ANA - (PP) COREY PERRY 14 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, MATHIEU
    SCHNEIDER) 11:03

    Sabres vs. DucksDec 6 12:21 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY) 4:07
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 4 (KENT HUSKINS, JOE DIPENTA) 15:33
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 3 (CHRIS PRONGER, RYAN GETZLAF)
    12:22
    ANA - TODD BE

    Dec 5 11:37 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    ANAHEIM 3
    2ND PRD: ANA - TODD BERTUZZI 2 (ANDY MCDONALD) 18:20

    Sabres vs. DucksDec 5 11:34 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    ANAHEIM 2
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 3 (CHRIS PRONGER, RYAN GETZLAF)
    12:22

    Sabres vs. DucksDec 5 11:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY) 4:07
    ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 4 (KENT HUSKINS) 15:33
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 8 8
    ANA 9

    Dec 5 10:41 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - ANDY MCDONALD 4 (KENT HUSKINS) 15:33

    Sabres vs. DucksDec 5 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    ANAHEIM 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 9 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY) 4:07

    Sabres vs. DucksDec 5 10:14 PM
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