Puck drop was 7:05, NOT 7:10!
The Buffalo Sabres broke out to an early lead on Saturday, taking advantage of a pair of point shots to allow Ville Leino to snap home his fifth and sixth of the season only minutes into the hockey game.
The Hat Trick
Leino Leads the Charge
Ville Leino took advantage of a pair of early opportunities on Saturday, firing two first period goals past Roberto Luongo in an ugly first five minutes for the reigning Olympic Gold Medal winner.
The Sabres shot out to an early lead on the strength of a pair of tallies from Leino, lulling the Canucks and the crowd into a trance before Brad Boyes snapped another past the home starter.
Buffalo’s third goal of the period initially went undetected by players and officials, but was later confirmed after the puck was declared to have crossed the goal line minutes earlier.
Despite the time reversal and the resulting extra few minutes of play the Canucks couldn’t generate any offence during the first period.
David Booth continues to be one of the Canucks’ most consistent forwards, contributing towards the comeback effort with a pair of goals against Buffalo on Saturday.
The brilliant mid-season acquisition has consistently found ways to score in Vancouver, giving the team an additional dynamic to their scoring attack. In another game where the Sedins were held silent, Booth and his linemates continue to come through as a reliable source of secondary scoring behind the talented twins.
Zack Kassian made the most of his first Hockey Night in Canada experience in a Canucks uniform, setting up David Booth for his 12th of the season before snapping home his first as a Canuck to bring his team within a goal of the jumpstart Sabres.
Kassian continues to look strong on the ice, making smart plays along the wall and getting pucks on net regardless of who he plays with.
The feisty forward seems to have made a connection with Maxim Lapierre on Vancouver’s fourth line, but received a promotion to play alongside Ryan Kesler and David Booth on the second line Saturday night.
The Canucks fell victim to their own slow start and lack of response on Saturday, allowing the Sabres to score at will in the first five minutes. Roberto Luongo and the Canucks cannot afford to allow any team such a strong start to a hockey game, especially during spring time puck when one-goal leads seem to last a lifetime.
“Our team goal was to get two points. It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about Cody coming back, it was about getting two points and we didn’t do that.” Zack Kassian was happy to have his first goal as a Canuck behind him, but couldn’t forget about the two points lost on Saturday.
1st. Ville Leino – GOALS: 2| PTS: 2| ASST: 0 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: 1
2nd. David Booth – GOALS: 2| PTS: 2| ASST: 0 SOG: 4| PLUS/MINUS: 2
3rd. Zack Kassian – GOALS: 1| PTS: 2| ASST: 1 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: 0
Buffalo 5, Vancouver 3
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 3, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Kyle Rehman, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Mike Cvik