NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 17th
(All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (4-3-0) at Buffalo Sabres (1-6-1), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres hope to build off their first win of
the season when they host the Vancouver Canucks in Thursday's clash at First
The Sabres were 0-6-1 through the first seven games of 2013-14, but finally
picked up a victory in Tuesday's road tilt against the New York Islanders.
Tyler Ennis scored the deciding goal during the second round of the shootout
to lift the Sabres to a come-from-behind win at Nassau Coliseum.
The 4-3 shootout decision ended a club record-tying streak for futility at the
start of the season. The last time Buffalo went seven games into a campaign
without a victory was in 1999-2000, when the Sabres recorded five losses and
The Sabres trailed 3-2 before Marcus Foligno found the back of the net with
2:01 remaining in the third period, and Thomas Vanek and Ennis both converted
their shootout opportunities before Ryan Miller officially stopped Buffalo's
losing streak with a save on John Tavares.
Ennis and Vanek also scored in regulation, while Miller racked up 41 saves
prior to stoning two of New York's three skaters in the shootout.
"It was a great job by our guys," said Miller. "Glad to get that (first win)."
Buffalo now has a chance to earn its first home win of the season, having
posted an 0-3-1 mark in Western New York so far. Thursday's contest marks the
start of a three-game homestand for the Sabres, who also will welcome Colorado
and Boston during the residency.
Sabres forward Cody Hodgson will play his second career game against the
Canucks, who drafted him with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft before
eventually trading him to Buffalo for fellow forward Zack Kassian during the
2011-12 season. Hodgson played at Vancouver on March 3, 2012, less than one
week after the trade, but did not record a point in that meeting. Kassian had
one goal and one assist in that game, which Buffalo won by a 5-3 score.
Hodgson has one goal and five assists in eight games this season. Kassian,
meanwhile, has failed to record a point for the Canucks in two games since
returning from a suspension for a high-sticking incident against Edmonton in
All told, Hodgson has 19 goals and 48 points in 76 games since the trade,
while Kassian has posted eight goals and six assists over 58 contests with the
Vancouver had lost two straight regulation games by identical 4-1 scores
before ending the brief slide with Tuesday's win in Philadelphia. Ryan Kesler
scored a pair of goals, including the deciding tally with 2:25 left in
regulation, to help the Canucks open a seven-game road trip on a positive
The Canucks trailed the Flyers by a 2-1 count heading into the third period,
but Vancouver scored the only two goals of the final 20 minutes to take a 3-2
Chris Higgins added a goal and one assist and tied the game at 2-2 with 12:29
remaining in the third period, setting up Kesler's game-winner. Henrik Sedin
posted two helpers for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo stopped 20 shots for
"It was a nice one, especially since the couple of guys that scored goals had
been working hard all year so far, but hadn't gotten rewarded much," Luongo
said. "So it's nice that they both contributed in a huge way there."
Vancouver is 2-1-0 as the visiting team this season and will continue its
swing this Saturday in Pittsburgh.
The Sabres have won four of the last five meetings against the Canucks.
Buffalo also has claimed three in a row and five of the past six encounters in
Western New York.
10/17 10:33:26 ET