Jan 20, 2013, 5:26 PM EDT
It’s easy to draw some parallels between the 2011-12 Buffalo Sabres and 2013 Minnesota Wild.
Buffalo had a mediocre 2010-11 campaign, but was optimistic about its future thanks to a new owner in Terrence Pegula and some noteworthy off-season additions including Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff to compliment its core of great veterans and rapidly developing youngsters.
While it remains to be seen how Minnesota’s even bigger spending spree will impact the team in the immediate future, the Buffalo Sabres ended up faltering last season and are looking to redeem themselves in 2013.
Thomas Vanek played a key role in starting the Sabres’ campaign off on a high note with his two-goal, three-assist performance against the Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo went on to open the season with a 5-2 victory.
Vanek’s biggest moment was beating Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov one-on-one to even the score late in the second period. You can watch that goal below:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
- NHL on NBCSN: Detroit pumped to face Chicago 2
- NHL on NBC: Penguins and Flyers resume rivalry as playoff race continues 4
- Discuss: Habs overcome three-goal deficit, beat Senators in overtime 15
- Canucks ready to face Luongo on Sunday 2
- West update: Stars blow lead yet still improve hold on wild card spot 4
- East update: Red Wings eke out shootout win for key points 0
- Luongo continues to foil Schneider as Panthers damage Devils’ playoff hopes 3
- TGIF: In which we salivate over potential playoff matchups 10
- Backstrom to receive silver medal, IOC says Sweden doctor ‘made a serious error’ 29
- Pens lose Neal to concussion 62
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider (98)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (62)
- Pens lose Neal to concussion (62)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)