Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks

Cory Schneider’s first career shutout cools off Anaheim 3-0

While the Philadelphia Flyers were busy showing off today why their hold on the top spot in the Eastern Conference may be a tenuous one, the Vancouver Canucks were doing their part to show off what they’re capable of doing out west. Vancouver shutout a hot Anaheim team 3-0 on the strength of a shutout by backup goaltender Cory Schneider. Schneider stopped 26 shots to earn his first career shutout and did so on a night where the Canucks may not have been generating many shots, but they made them count.

Manny Malhotra was the man of the quick strike attack scoring two goals. His first came just 42 seconds into the game while his second came 16 seconds into the start of the second period. Daniel Sedin added the third goal. Jannik Hansen had two assists for Vancouver. The Canucks scored three goals tonight on a total of 16 shots and what should’ve been an easy night for Ducks goalie Dan Ellis turned into a surprisingly rough one.

The win padded Vancouver’s cushion in the Western Conference to seven points. Vancouver’s 93 points is by far tops in the NHL and a reason to fear them. Anaheim’s loss prevented them from joining the fray of teams tied for sixth place at 77 points in the West while Ducks rival Los Angeles holds on to eighth with 75 points.

Not to get caught looking too far ahead, but Anaheim and Los Angeles play a home-and-home set to close out the season. Those two rivals going at each other’s throats to close out the season with playoff spots on the line sounds pretty good to us.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.