Feb 8, 2013, 8:01 AM EDT
The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been great this season, but what success they have had, they owe to Thomas Vanek.
Case in point: Down 4-2 midway through the third period of Thursday’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, Vanek netted back-to-back goals, including one with just 1.9 seconds left in regulation time to tie the game.
Just for good measure, the 29-year-old forward also found the back of the net again in the shootout to lead Buffalo to a 5-4 victory over the Canadiens.
“It’s great,” Vanek said. “It means we get to not go home all frustrated tonight. Enjoy the win. Probably going to sleep better. Wake up tomorrow and go for the next one.”
With 10 games under his belt this season, Vanek now leads the league with 10 goals and 21 points.
Vanek has gotten off to a hot starts before, but never to this extreme. The closest he came occurred last season when he scored eight goals and 15 points in his first 10 contests. Vanek stayed sharp for three months before hitting a rough patch.
Of course, with the condensed schedule, a three-month strong run will count for a lot more in 2013.
- Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series 0
- NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games 58
- Ducks’ Getzlaf (upper body) isn’t available for Game 4 (Updated) 3
- Two years after winning the Cup, the Kings’ ‘mix’ comes into question 39
- Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4 15
- MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists 11
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 43
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 56
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 49
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 86
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (136)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)