One of the Buffalo Sabres’ best starts this season wasn’t enough to secure a win as they fell 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks inside the Rogers Arena.
The Sabres climbed to a 2-0 lead after just 3:29 was played in the first period. Tyler Ennis scored his 19th goal on the year a little over a minute into the contest on a crisp wrister that beat Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack. Jamie McBain tallied his fourth goal of the year when his shot trickled through a cluster of players during a Sabres rush to the Vancouver net. Buffalo’s two goals came on only their first five shots of the game.
The Sabres probably want to forget everything else that happened after that.
Vancouver commenced a four-goal-comeback starting at 10:12 of the first period on a top-shelf snipe by Canucks’ center Brad Richardson. Shawn Matthias netted a similar goal less than three minutes later.
The Canucks broke the tie at 1:40 of the second period on a goal that Sabres netminder Nathan Lieuwen surely wishes he could have back. Vancouver defenseman Yannick Weber trudged along the boards in the Sabres zone before throwing the puck at the net, which somehow slipped through Lieuwen’s five-hole to give Vancouver the lead.
The Canucks added their fourth goal on the night early in the third period on a 2-on-1 rush that David Booth finished off with a shot past Lieuwen’s hip.
Despite the strong start, Buffalo finished the contest with just 18 shots on net—half of the final total mustered by Vancouver, who more than doubled the Sabres’ shot output in the first and second periods.
Former Sabre Zack Kassian arguably had his best night since donning a Vancouver Canucks jersey, even with the two pucks he took to his face. Kassian assisted on all four of Vancouver’s goals, added three hits, and skated off the ice with a +4 rating.
The Sabres return to action Tuesday night as their road trip takes them to Montreal. Matt Hackett is expected to start in goal that evening against the Canadiens. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST from the Bell Centre.
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