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The Goods: Downed by Sabres

Saturday, 03.3.2012 / 10:40 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Downed by Sabres
Scoring summary
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Lesson learned. Never spot Ryan Miller a three-goal lead.

The Vancouver Canucks trailed the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 a little over five minutes into the battle between expansion cousins Saturday night at Rogers Arena, and despite an impressive comeback attempt from the Canucks, the Sabres prevailed 5-3.

The second outing of a seven-game homestand began with a nightmarish start for Vancouver as Ville Leino scored twice and Brad Boyes added a third goal on three of Buffalo’s first seven shots.

That was all she wrote for Roberto Luongo, who was pulled at home during the regular season for the first time since November 20, 2010, against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canucks rebounded with a David Booth goal late in the second to make it a 3-1 game; Vancouver then fell victim
to a bad bounce early in the third when a point shot from Christian Ehrhoff went in off Aaron Rome to make it 4-1 Buffalo.

There was no quit in the Canucks as Booth and Zack Kassian cut the lead to 4-3 before the Sabres potted an empty net goal to seal the deal.

All in all, the Canucks played well for 55 minutes, but against Miller, who came into the game riding back-to-back shutouts, a three-goal cushion is next to impossible to

Luongo stood tall post-game and took the heat for his team’s shaky start.

“It was a bad start, I’ve got to be better than that, obviously, for my teammates,” said Luongo, who had four saves on seven shots. “The boys battled hard to try and come back and we played a pretty good match, I’ll take responsibility for this one.”

Luongo had one regulation loss in 14 starts coming into the night, so he’s brushing his poor performance off, without hesitation.

“I don’t feel like I was battling it or anything, it’s just one of those games where you want to forget about it and move on. Sometimes that’s going to happen, unfortunately, but I
feel good about myself and my game.”

Newcomer Zack Kassian, playing in his third game with the Canucks and first against his former team since he was traded to Vancouver from Buffalo last Monday at the trade deadline, is also feeling good about himself.

Kassian began the night on the fourth line and by the time the final horn sounded, he was alongside Booth and Ryan Kesler on the second trio. He didn’t disappoint either, with a goal, an assist and a team-high seven hits.

He’d still swap being the game’s third star for two points for the Canucks.

“It was nice to get the goal, maybe it takes a little bit of pressure off my back, but on the way to the rink my goal and our team goal was to get two points. It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about Cody coming back, it was about getting the two points and we didn’t do that,” said Kassian, admitting it’s nice to have this game over with.

“There was a lot of buildup and I didn’t pay too much attention to it, but it’s definitely going to be nice now to just get settled in away from the rink and just play the other
opposing teams and forget about Buffalo and try to move on.”

Forget about Buffalo and try to move on. That’s sound advice for the Canucks as a whole.

Vancouver now has two days between games with the Dallas Stars in town Tuesday.


Henrik Sedin is just happy he’s slumping now and now in a month or two.

The Canucks captain is now on a five-game pointless skid following another disappointing outing in terms of hitting the scoreboard. Scoring chances were there for both Henrik and Daniel, who has one assist in five games, versus the Sabres, but so was Ryan Miller.

The Sedins continue to lead the Canucks in scoring with 66 and 64 points each, respectively, and they know more consistency is needed heading down the homestretch to the post-season.

“I think we’re happy with most parts of our game, it’s just scoring is not coming right now and the only way to get out of that is to work harder,” said Henrik, who believes he and Daniel have been generating solid scoring chances.

“Most games I think if you look at the chances on the video, we’re getting there, now it’s about getting a bounce and that usually happens when you work hard. We’re trying to get there. It’s a process and we’re still staying positive.”

The panic button will remain in its glass case as the Sedins know they’ll bump this slump, they always do, and coach Alain Vigneault said he has nothing but faith in the twins.

“If there are two players I don’t worry about, it’s them,” Vigneault said post-game.


We can now officially put Cody Hodgson behind us.

Time to focus on Zack Kassian and all he has to offer, on and off the ice. Forget what you’ve heard and what you think you’ve seen, this 21-year-old is going to fit right in with the Canucks.

Let me introduce you to Zack Kassian, the newest and perhaps most misunderstood member of the Vancouver Canucks.

He goes by Kass as a nickname. Not Kassassin, Zack Attack or Kassianova. Just Kass.

He never goes by Adam, his middle name.

He wanted to be a firefighter if he didn’t make it as a professional hockey player.

He had a golden labrador named Max growing up.

He doesn’t know who let the dogs out.

He gave the puck from his first NHL goal to his mom; it’s in the process of being put in a display with the jersey from the game.

He called his buddies first after being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. His family was there to witness it.

Read more
Sometimes common sense isn’t enough, a rule is needed. No dogs in the press box, I don’t care if it’s cute and fits in your purse.
Tweet of the Night - "@canucksgame hey, we're not bad guys! We're cousins, remember? Sometimes
cousins fight. #ClassOf1970" -@themackattack, with a tweet I might even favourite.
Even steven - This was the 110th all-time meeting between the Canucks and Sabres and
after losing to Buffalo, Vancouver has a one game lead at 45-44-21.
Get'cha free hockey here - The third Buffalo goal had to be reviewed and two minutes and eight seconds
passed before it was awarded. That 2:08 was put back on the clock. Bonus.
Shooting stars - James Marsden, Piper Perabo and Michaela McManus took a break from filming
Red Machine to take in their first ever Canucks game.