Thatcher Demko came up with 36 saves and Loui Eriksson notched the game-winning goal for the Vancouver Canucks in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Rogers Arena. 

The Sabres struck first on Evan Rodrigues’ 3rd goal in three games, redirecting the puck past after it glanced off Rasmus Ristolainen’s skates. The lead was short-lived, however, thanks to Alexander Edler’s tying goal 3:24 later, a slap shot that beat Linus Ullmark from the point. Sven Baertschi gave the Canucks the 2-1 lead moments later, sending Vancouver into the dressing room with two goals on only four 1st period shots.\

Buffalo evened the score at 2:26 of the 2nd period on Kyle Okposo’s 8th, a backhand shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Brock Boeser put the Canucks back in front following a Lawrence Pilut giveaway, only for Sam Reinhart to tie it 3-3 4:52 later. Reinhart took a pass from Conor Sheary in front of the crease, spun around and lifted a backaround over Demko. Vancouver went ahead 4-3 nearly six minutes into the final period on Eriksson’s 9th.

Rasmus Dahlin nearly tied it on the power play late in regulation, but ripped a one-timer off Demko’s helmet. Dahlin was kept off the scoresheet, ending his point streak at five games. Jeff Skinner had an up-close backhand chance moments after Dahlin’s chance, but was also denied by Demko. 


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 8:48 – Evan Rodrigues (5) (Rasmus Ristolainen, Vladimir Sobotka)
VAN: 12:12 – Alexander Edler (5) (Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser); 15:31 – Sven Baertschi (7) (Derrick Pouliot)

Second Period:

BUF: 2:26 – Kyle Okposo (8) (Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons); 12:52 – Sam Reinhart (11) (Conor Sheary, Jack Eichel)
VAN: 8:00 – Brock Boeser (16) (Bo Horvat)

Third Period:

VAN: 5:57 – Loui Eriksson (9) (Josh Leivo, Jay Beagle)

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 16:48 – Kyle Okposo (Hooking – 2 min.)
VAN: 19:42 – Erik Gudbranson (Hooking – 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 7:13 – Jeff Skinner (Cross checking – 2 min.)
VAN: 7:13 – Jake Virtanen (Roughing – 2 min.)

Third Period:

VAN: 13:28 – Jay Beagle (Tripping – 2 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 39 (10, 13, 16)
VAN: 23 (4, 13, 6)


BUF: Linus Ullmark – 19 saves
VAN: Thatcher Demko – 36 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 2
VAN: 0 for 1

Three Stars:
1. Thatcher Demko – VAN

2. Bo Horvat – VAN

3. Sam Reinhart – BUF

What’s Next:

The Sabres now head into an extended 10-day break. Buffalo’s bye week precedes the NHL All-Star break meaning the club will not take the ice again until Tuesday, January 29 when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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