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.
- Pressing Question: Can the Blackhawks avoid the Stanley Cup hangover? 3
- Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall 35
- Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers 25
- Pressing question: Can the Blues get back on track? 16
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension 90
- Sabres, Panthers have best odds for 2014 NHL draft lottery 16
- Leafs ‘lack an identity,’ says Leiweke 30
- On the hot seat: McPhee will ‘talk in a couple of days’ 21
- Bruins are 7/2 favorites to win the Stanley Cup; Blues next at 6/1 49
- End of an era: Trotz out as Nashville head coach 40
- That’s a raise: Flyers sign MacDonald to six-year, $30 million extension (90)
- Lightning’s Malone arrested for DUI, cocaine possession (73)
- Update: Daniel Sedin in stable condition, hospitalized after scary hit (58)
- Halak’s agent ‘bewildered’ by Oates’ remarks prior to Blues game (51)
- Here’s the schedule for the first round of the 2014 playoffs (51)