EditorsNote: adds to next-to-last graf
Loui Eriksson’s goal at 5:57 of the third period gave the host Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Eriksson broke a 3-3 tie as he one-timed Josh Leivo’s pass from the side of the net.
Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 36 of 39 shots as Vancouver earned only its second win in the past six games (2-2-2). The Sabres dropped their fourth decision in five games.
Brock Boeser led the Canucks with a goal and an assist, while Alex Edler and Sven Baertschi also tallied. Bo Horvat, whose status was in question after he took a hard hit Wednesday against Edmonton, furnished two assists.
Evan Rodrigues, Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres.
Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark blocked 19 of 23 shots.
Demko became the first Canucks goaltender to start his NHL career 2-0-0. He made his first start of 2018-19 and only the second of his NHL career after being called up from Utica of the AHL following the trade of Anders Nilsson to the Ottawa Senators earlier this month.
Demko was kept busy in the first two periods as the Sabres dominated play. However, the Canucks scored on three of their first six shots and led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 in the second before the Sabres forged a 3-3 deadlock heading into the third.
Rodrigues extended his scoring streak to three games as he netted the game’s opening goal, tapping the puck in after Vladimir Sobotka’s pass caromed off Rasmus Ristolainen’s skate.
Edler created a 1-1 tie at 12:12 of the first period as his slap shot went through traffic and past Ullmark. Baertschi put the Canucks ahead 2-1 just over three minutes later as defenseman Derrick Pouliot made a dazzling rush up the middle and then feathered him a pass.
Okposo created a 2-2 tie 2:26 into the middle frame as he backhanded a shot past Demko from short range. However, Boeser restored Vancouver’s lead at the eight-minute mark, putting in a pass from Horvat after the center faked a shot.
But Reinhart tied the game again, on a spin-around backhand from in front of the net, at 12:52 of the middle period.
Sabres rookie Rasmus Dahlin was kept off the scoresheet. He fell short of his quest for the NHL’s longest points streak by an 18-year-old defenseman. Dahlin is only the fourth 18-year-old NHL defenseman to record a five-game streak. The others were Phil Housley, now the Sabres’ coach and who was playing for Buffalo at the time; Florida’s Aaron Ekblad and Boston’s Bobby Orr, who had two five-game point streaks as a rookie.
—Field Level Media