VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 3: Goalie Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres watches Andrej Sekera #44 of the Buffalo Sabres knock the puck away from Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks during the second period in NHL action on March 03, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
After losing 12 straight games on the road, the Sabres are finding that the road life is treating them fairly well as they pick up their third straight win against the Vancouver Canucks with a 5-3 victory.
Ville Leino got the scoring started as he scored a goal right through the wickets on Roberto Luongo 55 seconds into the 1st period. He would score his second goal of the night less than three minutes later pouncing on a terrible rebound from Roberto Luongo. The goals were Leino's fifth and sixth on the season and his first multi-goal game since March 29, 2011 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Less than two minutes later, Brad Boyes scored a rocket of a shot that beat Luongo over the left shoulder and just tucked it under the crossbar.
The Sabres scored three goals on Vancouver in first 5:10 of the game which meant that Luongo was headed to the showers for an early exit. Heading into the game, Vancouver was tied with Los Angeles for allowing the 3rd least goals in the first period at 36. and the Sabres are now 4th in the league with 60 goals scored in the first period. After the early flurry of goals, the Canucks settled in and was actually able to outshoot the Sabres 12-11 in the period.
David Booth scored the lone goal in the second period to bring the Canucks to 3-1 just as a Vancouver power play ended. That goal ended Ryan Miller's shutout streak at 155:37, which is his second longest shutout streak in his career. The longest came in the 2010-11 season at 161:35. After the Sabres were able to pour it on early in the first period, the Canucks dominated the second period, outshooting the Sabres 13-6 in the period.
Christian Ehrhoff got the scoring started in the third period on a shot that deflects off the skate of Aaron Rome and past Cory Schneider. The goal comes in Ehrhoff's return to Rogers Place after signing with the Sabres in the offseason. Shortly after, David Booth scored his second goal of the night on a rebound from a Zack Kassian shot. Miller had gotten a piece of the Kassian shot with his glove but was out of position on the subsequent Booth shot. Zack Kassian scored late in the third period to bring the Canucks to within one goal at 4-3 but Tyler Ennis finished the Canucks off with an empty net goal.
More player specific stuff after the jump.
- The biggest story line heading into the game was the return of former players with their respective teams. It was the first time Christian Ehrhoff, Cody Hodgson, and Alexander Sulzer played against Vancouver and the same for Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Kassian had the biggest impact on the game, with a goal, an assist, and a game leading seven hits. Ehrhoff scored his fifth goal of the season while Hodgson had three shots on goal in 16:53 of playing time.
- Patrick Kaleta had a good night with two assists in the game, both of which came on the Ville Leino goals. It was Kaleta's first multi-point night since January 13th versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kaleta was also called on an extremly questionable goaltender interference call in the second period. Kaleta was facing the goaltender when Alexander Edler pushed him squarely in the numbers sending Kaleta flying into the net and goaltender.
The Sabres will finish off the four game road trip with a big game against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night.