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Vanek Strikes Again

Wednesday, 09.21.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Vanek Strikes Again

September 21, 2005
by Brian Wheeler

Rookie Thomas Vanek has been a menace to Washington during exhibition play. The Austrian rookie again scored two goals against the Capitals as the Sabres rolled to a 4-0 victory at the MCI Center.

"It's a team sport and we played well tonight as a team," stated Vanek. "Good goals will come with hard play, and that is what has been happening the last few nights for us."

Vanek's pair of goals came just four minutes apart in the second period and marked the third time in as many games that the Sabres first-round selection in 2003 has registered a multi-point game. His encore performance against Washington leaves him with four goals and two assists in just three games.

Ryan Miller earned his second preseason victory and his first shutout after stopping 29 shots.

Defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick and forward Maxim Afinogenov each recorded a goal and defenseman Jay McKee added two assists, as Buffalo moved to 3-1-0-0 in preseason play.

"We played much harder tonight and the result showed," said defenseman Dmitri Kalinin, who logged more than 20 minutes of ice time in the contest. "We were upset by the way the game ended against Minnesota and we did not want that performance to carry over into tonight."

The Sabres will next travel to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning at the St. Pete's Times Forum on Sunday, September 25. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:00 PM.

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PERIOD 1
1-0 (6:19): Sabres defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick scores his first goal of preseason, while Chris Drury and Mike Grier are credited with the assists. Buffalo has now scored the first goal of the game in three consecutive contests. Grier brought the puck out of Washington's zone and passed to Drury, who took the puck behind the net and found Fitzpatrick on the left wing.

Sabres outshoot Washington 11-3 in the opening period of play, but fail to capitalize on six power play chances.

PERIOD 2

2-0 (15:04): Rookie Thomas Vanek scores his third goal of the preseason as he cranks a one-timer past Koliz on the power play. JP Dumont found Vanek wide open in front of the net for the power play goal.

3-0 (19:09): Vanek scores his second goal of the game just four minutes later. It's the third multi-point game for the Austrian in as many games. Vanek has now scored four goals against the Capitals in two games. Jochen Hecht and Jay McKee record the assists.

Ryan Miller makes 14 saves as he shuts out the Capitals in the second period.

PERIOD 3
4-0 (5:29): Maxim Afinogenov intercepts a pass at center ice, carries the puck into the offensive zone and snaps a precise shot from the top of the circle that finds the top right corner of the net. Jay McKee records his second assist of the game with Derek Roy being credited with the other helper.

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