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.
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 10
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 12
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 11
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 24
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 74
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 28
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 29
- ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’ 17
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 73
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)