Anaheim Ducks Hold On, Edge Buffalo Sabres 4-1

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Oct 13, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit (61) trips Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (17) as he carries the puck and is awarded a penalty shot during the third period at First Niagara Center. Anaheim beats Buffalo 5 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Third Star: Ryan Kesler, C (1 G, 18:13 TOI, 66.67 FO%, GWG)

Kesler scored his first goal at Honda Center as a member of the Ducks, but that’s not why he’s on here as the third star. He took 18 faceoffs, winning 12 of them, including all five draws that he took in the defensive zone. The Kesler acquisition has allowed Getzlaf and Perry to not play such difficult defensive minutes, as Kesler can draw those assignments. This allows the Getzlaf and Perry line to focus on a more offensive sense, and the Ducks are already reaping the benefits here.

For example, Getzlaf, who was a main fixture on the penalty kill last season, did not play a single second while the team was shorthanded. Kesler, on the other hand, led all Ducks’ forwards in shorthanded ice time and was third to Getzlaf and Perry in terms of total ice time among all Ducks forwards. Kesler was tremendous in both converting his opportunities and indirectly giving opportunities to the team’s two best players.