Zack Kassian got a goal and an assist against the team that traded him away less than a week ago, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Buffalo Sabres from earning a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Cody Hodgson, the other major player in the swap and the more established of the two youngsters offensively, was held off the scoresheet and is now pointless in three games with the Sabres.
Instead, Buffalo’s Ville Leino was the hero Saturday night. His two goals within the first 3:44 minutes of play set the tone for the remainder of the contest. Brad Boyes scored the Sabres’ third goal just 1:26 minutes later to chase out netminder Roberto Luongo. Former Canucks player Christian Ehrhoff netted the game-winning goal at 2:36 of the second period.
In addition to Kassian, Vancouver also got goals from another player that didn’t start the season with them: David Booth. The former Florida Panthers player found the back of the net twice to end his eight-game goalless streak.
This was a critical win for Buffalo, who are fighting to remain relevant in a heated battle for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. By contrast, Vancouver has all-but won the Northwest Division and is just fighting to secure the first overall seed in the West.