With a disappointing finish to last season, the Sabres were eager to start the 2012-2013 season.
While the season may have started late, the Buffalo Sabres got the start they hoped for with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener on Sunday, Jan. 20.
The Sabres top line got the job done today, with Thomas Vanek’s five points leading the way, Cody Hodgson adding a goal, and Jason Pominville notching three assists.
Off-season acquisition Steve Ott opened the scoring a little over 11 minutes into the first period, on a one-timer from the slot while the Sabres were on the Power Play. The Flyers thought they tied it up later in the period, but officials ruled that Ruslan Fedotenko interfered with Sabres goalie Ryan Miller before putting the puck in the net.
The Flyers came out strong in the second period, getting two quick goals from Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier in the first five minutes of the middle frame.
A little over 11 minutes later, however, Thomas Vanek finally knotted it back up on another Power Play with a nifty dangle on a breakaway after a pass from Drew Stafford.
Tyler Myers broke the tie with 5:03 remaining in the third period with the Sabres third Power Play goal of the game, giving the Sabres a 3-2 lead.
Just over a minute later, Cody Hodgson made it 4-2 Sabres as the puck bounced off the shaft of his stick past Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov as he was crashing the net towards a rebound after a shot from Vanek. The play was reviewed to see if Hodgson had kicked the puck into the net, but it was determined the puck went off his stick, and the goal stood.
The Flyers had a second goal disallowed late in the third, as one of the referees blew the play dead just before the puck crossed the goalie line, as he had lost sight of it while it was in the goal crease.
Thomas Vanek then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute, giving him his second goal of the game and the Sabres a 5-2 win.
Sabres goalie Ryan Miller finished the game with 27 saves, and the Sabres went three of six on the Power Play, en route a 1-0-0 record to open the 2012-2013 season.