BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres are finding plenty of success after regulation.
Tyler Myers scored 4:37 into overtime to lift the Sabres to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.
It was the fifth straight game in which Buffalo needed extra time to settle things, and the Sabres earned the win in four of them. During the stretch, they’ve recorded shootout victories over Toronto and New Jersey on the road, and overtime wins over Washington and Vancouver at home. The lone blemish was a 3-2 overtime loss at the New York Rangers on Thursday.
This one didn’t come without drama, though. Buffalo squandered a two-goal, third-period lead, and in overtime had to kill off the final 39 seconds of Cody McCormick’s boarding penalty.
“I think it just goes to show that we battle right to the end,” Myers said. “We don’t want to be letting teams back in it like that in the third, but when they tied it up it we showed good character that we didn’t just fall apart. We kept going and pushed right to the end.”
Myers took defenceman Dan Hamhuis’ giveaway in the slot and put a wrist shot past goalie Cory Schneider for the winner.
“It was tough,” Hamhuis said. “The puck just bounced off my stick. We just gave them too many chances.”
Tyler Ennis, McCormick and Steve Montador also scored for the Sabres (7-9-3), who won for the second straight time at home after going winless in their first seven games in Buffalo.
Ryan Miller made 36 saves and kept the Sabres in it by stopping all 15 shots the Canucks recorded in the first period. Buffalo led 2-0 after 20 minutes.
Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each added a pair of assists for the defending Northeast Division champion Sabres, who have rebounded from a 3-9-2 start.
“Losing hurt, but we kept working hard,” Vanek said. “We knew we were going to turn it around. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole, but slowly we are climbing out of it. We’re righting the ship here pretty good, but we have to keep going.”
Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists, Alexander Edler and Mikael Samuelsson also scored, and Schneider made 35 saves for the Northwest Division-leading Canucks (10-4-3), who have dropped two of four after winning six straight.
Henrik Sedin added three assists for Vancouver.
“It was a hard fought game by a couple of good teams,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “They’ve been playing some great hockey lately. Anybody who saw that game would have seen that there were two great teams out there.”
The Canucks began their rally when Edler made it 3-2 at 4:48 of the third, firing in a slap shot from the point during a power play.
Samuelsson then tied it with 10:39 left in regulation by sweeping the puck in from the bottom of the left circle.
With Vancouver trailing 2-0, Daniel Sedin cut the Canucks’ deficit in half with a power-play goal 7:18 into the second period. His slap shot from the right circle zipped past a screened Miller.
Montador restored Buffalo’s two-goal edge with a one-timer from the middle of the blue line to make it 3-1 with 6:35 left in the second.
The Sabres opened the scoring when Ennis slipped the puck through Schneider’s legs from in tight on Buffalo’s first shot 8:22 in. The Canucks had held a 9-0 shot advantage.
McCormick pushed Buffalo’s lead to 2-0 with 2:58 left in the first. After Schneider stopped McCormick’s initial redirection, the gritty forward swept at the rebound with a behind-the-back backhand that banked in off a sprawled Schneider.
NOTES: Sabres C Rob Niedermayer played in his 1,100th NHL game. … A backup goalie has started against Buffalo 10 times this season. … Vancouver dropped to 2-1-1 on its season-high, five-game road trip. … Vanek’s wife gave birth to twin boys on Monday. … Daniel and Henrik Sedin have each recorded at least one point in all but two of Vancouver’s 17 games. … Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta left halfway through the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.