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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 17th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (4-3-0) at Buffalo Sabres (1-6-1), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Buffalo Sabres hope to build off their first win of the season when they host the Vancouver Canucks in Thursday's clash at First Niagara Center.

The Sabres were 0-6-1 through the first seven games of 2013-14, but finally picked up a victory in Tuesday's road tilt against the New York Islanders. Tyler Ennis scored the deciding goal during the second round of the shootout to lift the Sabres to a come-from-behind win at Nassau Coliseum.

The 4-3 shootout decision ended a club record-tying streak for futility at the start of the season. The last time Buffalo went seven games into a campaign without a victory was in 1999-2000, when the Sabres recorded five losses and two ties.

The Sabres trailed 3-2 before Marcus Foligno found the back of the net with 2:01 remaining in the third period, and Thomas Vanek and Ennis both converted their shootout opportunities before Ryan Miller officially stopped Buffalo's losing streak with a save on John Tavares.

Ennis and Vanek also scored in regulation, while Miller racked up 41 saves prior to stoning two of New York's three skaters in the shootout.

"It was a great job by our guys," said Miller. "Glad to get that (first win)."

Buffalo now has a chance to earn its first home win of the season, having posted an 0-3-1 mark in Western New York so far. Thursday's contest marks the start of a three-game homestand for the Sabres, who also will welcome Colorado and Boston during the residency.

Sabres forward Cody Hodgson will play his second career game against the Canucks, who drafted him with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft before eventually trading him to Buffalo for fellow forward Zack Kassian during the 2011-12 season. Hodgson played at Vancouver on March 3, 2012, less than one week after the trade, but did not record a point in that meeting. Kassian had one goal and one assist in that game, which Buffalo won by a 5-3 score.

Hodgson has one goal and five assists in eight games this season. Kassian, meanwhile, has failed to record a point for the Canucks in two games since returning from a suspension for a high-sticking incident against Edmonton in the preseason.

All told, Hodgson has 19 goals and 48 points in 76 games since the trade, while Kassian has posted eight goals and six assists over 58 contests with the Canucks.

Vancouver had lost two straight regulation games by identical 4-1 scores before ending the brief slide with Tuesday's win in Philadelphia. Ryan Kesler scored a pair of goals, including the deciding tally with 2:25 left in regulation, to help the Canucks open a seven-game road trip on a positive note.

The Canucks trailed the Flyers by a 2-1 count heading into the third period, but Vancouver scored the only two goals of the final 20 minutes to take a 3-2 decision.

Chris Higgins added a goal and one assist and tied the game at 2-2 with 12:29 remaining in the third period, setting up Kesler's game-winner. Henrik Sedin posted two helpers for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo stopped 20 shots for the win.

"It was a nice one, especially since the couple of guys that scored goals had been working hard all year so far, but hadn't gotten rewarded much," Luongo said. "So it's nice that they both contributed in a huge way there."

Vancouver is 2-1-0 as the visiting team this season and will continue its swing this Saturday in Pittsburgh.

The Sabres have won four of the last five meetings against the Canucks. Buffalo also has claimed three in a row and five of the past six encounters in Western New York.

10/17 10:33:26 ET

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UNC 56
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7:05pm Tonight
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DUR 1
 
3rd
ECU 37
NCCU 7
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
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DET 3
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Final
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Final
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DET 8
 
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Final
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PHI 7
 
Final
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CHC 1
 
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LOS 1
 
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MIL 0
 
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WAS 2
 
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APPST 14
Final
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Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
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UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
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CAL 31
Final
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Final
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MARS 42
Final
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Final
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Final
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WVU 23
Final
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ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
 
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
 
4th
OKLA 48
LATU 10
 
4th
KST 55
SAUST 16
 
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USC 52
FRES 13
 
4th
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SMISS 0
 
3rd
OKST 17
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3rd
TEX 28
UNT 0
 
4th
NMU 21
UTEP 24
 
8:05pm Tonight
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IDAHO 0
2nd
LSU 7
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10:30pm Tonight
OREG
SD
10:30pm Tonight
HAW
WASH
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
3rd
ECU 37
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR 4
DUR 1