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Vanek’s unreal start: 10 goals, 21 points in just 10 games

Feb 8, 2013, 8:01 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates after scoring a shootout goal against Peter Budaj #30 of the Montreal Canadiens on February 7, 2013 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo defeated Montreal, 4-3, in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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