Anaheim at Buffalo

Power-play goals boost Sabres past Ducks in Helsinki


HELSINKI -- Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals, leading the Buffalo Sabres past the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in their NHL opener Friday in Helsinki.

Vanek, the top goal scorer for Buffalo the last five seasons, set the tone with his first goal at 4:02 in the first period. Finnish player Ville Leino, back at his former home stadium, then made it 2-0 on his debut for the Sabres.

Nate Guenin replied for Anaheim in the second period, but Vanek helped restore the Sabres' two-goal lead by setting up Jason Pominville.

Vanek then scored his second of the night in the same period. Pominville also finished with two assists, as did Luke Adam.

"The puck was bouncing for us a bit tonight and we played a good first period with the two goal lead," Vanek said. "We tried to get pucks to the net and it paid off early on."

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff was also happy with the way Leino played on a line with Brad Boyes and Tyler Ennis.

"Leino did a heck of a play, taking the puck from his own skates before scoring," Ruff said.

Doing so in his first game for a new club was nothing new for Leino, who dominated the ice for Finnish team Jokerit in the same arena before leaving for the NHL.

"I have done it for every team where I've played, and was lucky to do it again," Leino said. "It was cool to do it here in Finland."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle felt his team had allowed Buffalo an easy game.

"We did not do a very good job of transferring the puck from our defense to the forwards, and had to spend the first half of the game too much in our own end," he said.

"We played more as individuals in parts of the game versus a team."

Anaheim, however, hit the posts twice in the last period, through Francois Beauchemin and Luka Sbisa.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Thomas Vanek (26), Buffalo's top scorer for five seasons, celebrates his second power-play goal. (AP)
Thomas Vanek (26), Buffalo's top scorer for five seasons, celebrates his second power-play goal. (AP)
Anaheim (0-1-0)0101
buffalo-sabres  (1-0-0) «2204
Three Stars
T. Vanek

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
J. Pominville

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
R. Miller

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .967

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:02Power Play - Thomas Vanek (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Adam, Pominville
08:30 - Ville Leino (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Sekera, Boyes
04:32 - Nate Guenin (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Macenauer
05:45 - Jason Pominville (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vanek, Adam
11:59Power Play - Thomas Vanek (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ehrhoff, Pominville
Penalty Summary
01:08Gaustad, 2 min, Interference
02:21Koivu, 2 min, Hooking
10:36Perry, 2 min, Tripping
13:18Regehr, 2 min, Interference
18:37Regehr, 2 min, Boarding
18:37Parros, 2 min, Roughing
09:56Stafford, 2 min, Roughing
09:56Koivu, 2 min, Roughing
11:21Cogliano, 2 min, Tripping
17:01Guenin, 2 min, Interference
04:09Roy, 2 min, Hooking
05:25Ehrhoff, 2 min, Slashing
13:27Ehrhoff, 2 min, Cross-Checking
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