Third-period barrage carries Sabres past Canucks

Third-period barrage carries Sabres past Canucks

Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson scored 23 seconds apart early in the third period to break a tie as the Buffalo Sabres remained undefeated with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons each had a goal and an assist, Dylan Cozens contributed two assists and Rasmus Asplund added an empty-net goal for Buffalo, which improved to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008. Craig Anderson finished with 32 saves.

Bo Horvat and Justin Dowling scored goals for Vancouver, which took its third loss in four games to start a season-opening, coast-to-coast, six-game road trip that continues on Thursday in Chicago. Thatcher Demko made 38 saves for the Canucks.

Vancouver jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 5:57 mark of the first period on Horvat’s first goal of the season. Tanner Pearson set the score up with a backhand pass from the boards behind the net to Horvat cutting down the slot. Horvat then snapped a shot into the top right corner of the goal.

Buffalo tied it 2 1/2 minutes later on Okposo’s second goal of the season and 200th of his career on a wrist shot from the right circle past Demko’s glove side. Okposo became the 61st active and 56th U.S. born NHL player to score at least 200 goals in his career.

The Canucks regained the lead near the end of the period when Dowling, who clanged a shot off the post a few minutes earlier, redirected Luke Schenn’s bouncing shot from the slot past Anderson for his first goal of the season.

Buffalo tied it 2-2 late in the second period when Girgensons deflected Okposo’s shot from the right point with the shaft of his stick under the crossbar for his second goal of the season.

The Sabres quick two-goal spurt early in the third period produced a 4-2 lead. Skinner got the first when he roofed a backhand rebound of a Colin Miller blast from the right side of the net, his first goal of the season and the 266th of his career. Thompson followed with his second of the season, knocking in his own rebound inside the left post.

Vancouver pulled Demko with 3:45 remaining and Asplund sealed it 50 seconds later when he picked up a rebound in front of his net and fired a shot the length of the ice for an empty-net goal.

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