Related News

Home » Sports » Ice Hockey

Vanek's trick fuels the Sabres

THOMAS Vanek and the Buffalo Sabres certainly didn't look travel weary on Wednesday.

A day following a cross-country flight from Anaheim, Vanek scored a natural hat trick and Ryan Miller stopped all 16 shots in leading the Sabres to a 5-0 win against the overwhelmed and lifeless Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We knew we were maybe physically not in top shape, but I thought we skated well," said Vanek, who upped his team-leading total to 32 goals. "We played smart and got the early lead, and that really helped us."

Vanek, who also added an assist, registered the fifth three-goal game of his career and first this season. It was also Vanek's fourth consecutive natural hat trick, matching an NHL record set by Cy Denneny between 1923 and 1924 with the old Ottawa Senators.

Home sweet home, said Miller, noting the Sabres played their first game in Buffalo in nearly three weeks following a six-game road trip that spanned the NHL All-Star break.

"We had good energy tonight, a lot of guys are happy to be home," said Miller, who was relatively untested in registering his second straight shutout. "The boys looked really sharp. They should be proud of managing the game for 60 minutes."

Miller, who stopped 28 shots in a 2-0 win at Phoenix on Saturday, hasn't allowed a goal in a span of 126:52, dating to a 5-2 loss at Calgary on Jan. 28.

Drew Stafford and Tim Connolly each had a goal and an assist.

The Maple Leafs were outshot 32-16 while showing no spark. They still appeared stunned after squandering a two-goal third-period lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to Florida on Tuesday.

"We let one slip away last night," Leafs forward Matt Stajan said. "We had a chance to redeem ourselves. We were flat all game."

In other games, it was: Bruins 3, Flyers 1; Wild 3, Ducks 0; Red Wings 5, Coyotes 4; and Penguins 4, Lightning 3, OT.

In Philadelphia, David Krejci and Dennis Wideman scored 25 seconds apart in the third period to lift the NHL-leading Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Michael Ryder also scored for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas made 25 saves, including several tough ones. Thomas leads the league in save percentage.

Scott Hartnell had the lone goal for the flu-ridden Flyers. Philadelphia captain Mike Richards, defenseman Braydon Coburn and forward Scottie Upshall each sat out due to the virus.

The Flyers have lost five of eight games to drop to sixth in the Eastern Conference after a brief stay atop the Atlantic Division.

In St Paul, Minnesota, Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu scored goals, and All-Star goalie Niklas Backstrom had his sixth shutout of the season as Minnesota blanked Anaheim.

Backstrom made 34 saves for the Wild.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend