Skip to content

Vanek’s 5-point game starts Sabres’ quest for redemption

Jan 20, 2013, 5:26 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 20: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres moves in to score buffalo's second goal on Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers at First Niagara Center on January 20, 2013 in Buffalo, United States. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) Getty Images

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!

With five points, Vanek now leads the NHL scoring race. His debut surpassed Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne‘s impressive four-point opening-game efforts.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Voynov remains suspended by the NHL after taking plea

    Jul 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov Slava Voynov

    There’s no “timetables for next steps”, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

  2. Kessel on moving on from Toronto: ‘It’s a different world there’

    Jul 2, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Phil Kessel

    The 27-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in Pittsburgh.

  3. Ducks bring back d-man Holzer with one-year, $750K deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks Headshots Getty Images

    Acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline.

  4. NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    khl_logo

    Leagues will continue to respect each other’s contracts. But that’s it.

  5. Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

    Pleads no contest to misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse.

  6. Sharks hire Boughner, Hedberg as DeBoer’s assistants

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Windsor Spitfires v Niagara Ice Dogs Getty Images

    Boughner coached against DeBoer in the OHL, Hedberg played for him in New Jersey.

  7. Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Former Hart Trophy winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

  8. Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    150702_JustinWilliams Getty Images

    “At some point Justin became more affordable to us, and we started to lean his way.”

  9. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  10. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

  11. Preds re-sign Bourque: one year, $866,250

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    gabrielbourquegetty Getty Images

    24-year-old has appeared in 220 NHL contests, all with Nashville.

  12. Shots fired! ‘Canes owner Karmanos rips into Jim Rutherford (Updated)

    Jul 2, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Hurricanes Front Office Shakeup Hockey AP

    Yes, the same Jim Rutherford who was the GM in Carolina for two decades.

  13. Worlds helped convince Eichel to go pro

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT

    IHOCKEY-WORLD-USA-SVK Getty Images

    He didn’t want to make his intentions known until he was drafted.

  14. Wright signs with Islanders after campaign in KHL

    Jul 2, 2015, 8:56 AM EDT

    James Wright Getty Images

    He was playing with the Winnipeg Jets before heading to Croatia.

  15. Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:43 AM EDT

    st.louis Getty Images

    Some interesting players still need deals.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2522)
  2. D. Hamilton (2486)
  3. C. Talbot (2044)
  4. S. Gagner (1973)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1954)
  1. E. Etem (1782)
  2. A. Niemi (1767)
  3. R. Lehner (1723)
  4. M. Lucic (1647)
  5. C. Pronger (1643)