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THE AFTERMATH: SABRES 4, DUCKS 1

Vanek scores twice as Sabres top Ducks in Helsinki

Friday, 10.07.2011 / 10:39 PM / THE AFTERMATH
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com (@kwsnow)
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THE AFTERMATH: SABRES 4, DUCKS 1

HELSINKI, FINLAND (AP) - Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals, leading the Buffalo Sabres past the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in their NHL opener Friday.

Vanek, the top goal-scorer for Buffalo the last five seasons, set the tone with his first goal at 4:02 in the first period. Ville Leino of Finland, playing in his former home stadium, then made it 2-0 on his debut for the Sabres.

Nate Guenin replied for Anaheim in the second period, but Vanek helped restore the Sabres' two-goal lead by setting up Jason Pominville. ...MORE.

With Buffalo applying pressure in the Ducks’ zone, Anaheim’s clearing attempt is held in at the blueline by Christian Ehrhoff. He fires a wrist shot at the net that bounces off Tyler Ennis before being picked up by Brad Boyes behind the net. Boyes finds Andrej Sekera sneaking in down low at the faceoff circle, and he lasers a pass to Ville Leino in the slot. Leino takes the pass in his skate, and quickly kicks it into a shooting position just as he’s tripped by Anaheim’s Andrew Gordon. While falling to the ice, Leino uncorks a snap shot over Jonas Hiller’s left shoulder for what turned out to be the game winning goal.

"I thought Ville played very well tonight," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "He was sound in his own end and scored a big goal for us. He made a heck of a play kicking the puck off his skate and scoring a big goal. But even importantly was that his play in his own end was really solid."

Vanek

Thomas Vanek picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2010-11 regular season, finishing the night with three points (2+1) and a game-high nine shots. Vanek ended last season with consecutive three-point games, giving him nine points (6+3) in his last three regular season contests. Vanek played alongside Luke Adam and Jason Pominville for the first time in a regular season game, after being formed midway through training camp when Derek Roy was injured. Vanek was happy with their chemistry, but knows they have a long way to go.

"It's only game one, but I thought Luke looked good out there. I think we still have some things to work on though, because the Getzlaf line had us rotating a few times tonight."

- The line of Vanek-Pominville-Adam accounted for eight of Buffalo’s 12 points.

- Ryan Miller made 29 saves to earn the win in the 400th game of his NHL career. He joins Domink Hasek (491) as the second goaltender in Sabres history to play in 400 games.

- Buffalo was held without a shot in the third period. The last time this happened was March 29, 2003.

I think that was a real momentum killer for them. - Lindy Ruff, on Buffalo's 5-on-3 penalty kill early in the 3rd period.
- Jordan Leopold led the Sabres in TOI with 24:45, including 5:04 while shorthanded.

- Robyn Regehr had a game-high five hits and six blocked shots.

- Paul Gaustad’s 10 face-off wins led Buffalo, and tied him with Anaheim’s Saku Koivu and Ryan Getzlaf.

- Tonight’s game opened the first of Buffalo’s league-high 21 sets of back-to-back games this season. Buffalo also topped the NHL last season with 22.

- The Sabres are now 23-14-4 in season openers; 8-8 when they start on the road

- Lindy Ruff improved his record to 8-5-1 in season openers as Buffalo’s head coach.

- The Ducks dropped to 4-14 all-time in season openers.

The Sabres will face Los Angeles on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at the o2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany. They leave Berlin right after the game, with an expected early Sunday morning arrival in Buffalo. After five days off, the Sabres play their home opener at the First Niagara Center one week from tonight against Carolina. Game time is 7:30 p.m. ET.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82