Sabres remain unbeaten with 5-2 victory
BUFFALO (AP) — Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson scored 23 seconds apart in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres rallied to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons each added a goal and an assist, and Craig Anderson made 32 saves. After finishing in last place for the fourth time in eight seasons, the Sabres are 3-0 for the first time since 2008 and the fifth time in franchise history.
Bo Horvat and Justin Dowling scored for the Canucks in their second straight loss. Thatcher Demko stopped 38 shots in the fourth of a six-game trip, the longest to start a season in team history.
The Canucks played without defensemen Kyle Burroughs and Quinn Hughes. Hughes, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft, was scratched with an undisclosed injury after participating in an optional morning skate.
Skinner scored on a rebound 3:33 into the third, lifting a backhand shot from his knees over his shoulder — and Demko’s glove — to give Buffalo its first lead of the game.
While Skinner’s goal was being announced during the next shift, Thompson knocked in a rebound from the left side of the crease to make it 4-2. Rasmus Asplund added a goal into the empty net with 2:55 remaining.
The Sabres tied it up on Girgensons’ goal with 2:23 left in the second period. Girgensons deflected Okposo’s shot from the point into the net eight seconds after the Canucks killed a four-minute penalty on Tanner Pearson for high-sticking.
Dowling redirected a long shot by Luke Schenn past Anderson to put Vancouver ahead 2-1 late in the first. Dowling’s first goal with the Canucks came a few minutes after he hit the post on a breakaway.
Horvat gave the Canucks an early lead when he scored his first goal of the season about six minutes into the opening period, with Pearson’s backhand pass from behind the net setting up the Canucks’ captain in the high slot.
Okposo responded for Buffalo about two minutes later with a wrist shot from the right circle for his second goal of the season.