Score: Sabres 5, Canucks 1
Shots: Buffalo 27, Vancouver 30
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Rasmus Dahlin (5), Alex Tuch (6), Victor Olofsson (3,4), Zemgus Girgensons (2)
Vancouver Canucks Goals: Conor Garland (2)
Plus 1: Dahlin, Tuch Keep Going
Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch both extended their respective goal streaks on Saturday night, to absolutely no surprise. Dahlin struck early, just 5:35 into the game, snapping a shot from the high slot that took a bounce and beat netminder Thatcher Demko. Dahlin already set the NHL record, but now looks content to keep stretching that as far as the eye can see. With last night’s goal, he also tied the team record for games with a goal to start the season, tying Thomas Vanek and Gilbert Perreault... as a defenseman. Just incredible.
After notching his first NHL hat trick the other night, Tuch extended his goal-scoring streak to four games. He now has six goals and a total of seven points on the season, behind only Dahlin’s eight points for the team lead.
Minus 1: Samuelsson Injury Deflates Team
Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson went down awkwardly early in the second period, in visible pain and requiring assistance to hobble off the ice and to the locker room. For a team that also saw Henri Jokiharju fall out the other night - he’s now on injured reserve - and that just got Ilya Lyubushkin back from injury, the D corps injuries could easily decimate a team.
Whether it was the drop to five defensemen, or seeing Samuelsson go down like that, it seemed to deflate the Sabres for much of the second period. They were lucky that it was only Conor Garland who wound up finding the net in the middle frame, and seemed to get back into shape for the third period.
The good news with this is that the Sabres already recalled Lawrence Pilut, so if need be, he can step in for Tuesday’s tilt in Seattle without the need to recall anyone else. The other good news came after the game via The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski, who said that the Sabres got ‘good news’ about Samuelsson’s injury after the game and that he ‘avoided the worst.’
Plus 1: Don’t Sit Back
As the Sabres carried a narrow 2-1 lead into the third period, they didn’t sit back like we’ve sometimes seen from this team. It’s easy to get too comfortable and fall into a pattern, and then let the game slip right out of your hands. Instead, they recharged during the intermission and quickly regained their two-goal lead on Olofsson’s first tally of the night. Even after Zemgus Girgensons potted the empty-netter, they still didn’t sit back, with Olofsson scoring again (on the goaltender) less than a minute later.
Rasmus Asplund and Casey Mittelstadt both ended the night with two assists, while Olofsson had two goals and an assist. Dahlin had a goal and an assist as well, while Craig Anderson pitched in 29 saves on 30 shots faced.
It’s really nice to see how the Sabres are spreading the wealth in terms of scoring. It’s not just one or two guys, though obviously Dahlin and Tuch are the top performers. Nine different players recorded at least a point in Saturday’s win. Buffalo knew Vancouver would come out hard, given that a) it was their home opener and b) they were still winless on the season, but the Sabres took it right to them.
Capped off the night with a surprise appearance from Ryan Miller pic.twitter.com/zaXpc9qoLO— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 23, 2022
The Sabres are now 4-1-0 on the season, have won three in a row and cap off their Western road trip with a visit to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night. Puck drop is set for 10 pm.