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Opposing Locker Room: Vanek Unstoppable

Thomas Vanek tallies five points in Sabres 7-4 win, continues dominance vs B's

Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 11:31 PM / Features
By Evan Sporer  - BostonBruins.com
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Opposing Locker Room: Vanek Unstoppable
Thomas Vanek put it simply, saying there was no rhyme or reason for his gaudy career numbers against the Boston Bruins.

BostonBruins.com — Thomas Vanek put it simply, saying there was no rhyme or reason for his gaudy career numbers against the Boston Bruins.

“I don’t know; it’s statistics,” Vanek said, when asked what makes him so lethal agains the B’s. “You can call them what you want, but they’re just that. For us, this was a big win.”

The Sabres marched into TD Garden, and ended a four-game losing steak, dealing the Bruins their first regulation loss and first home loss of the season with a 7-4 win. It also marked the first time Buffalo had earned a victory in the B's home barn since March 10, 2011.

For Vanek, it was just another day against his Northeast Division rivals.

The Sabres alternate captain tallied his eighth career hat trick, and added two assists to complete a five-point night. In 46 career games against Boston, Vanek has now posted a line of 28-26=54. Afterward, he simply called it a team effort opposite a difficult team to play against in the Bruins.

“It was hard work; nothing came easy, and that’s a good team over there,” said Vanek. “Again, we just took the chances we had, and we buried them.

“They had a lot of chances, and Ryan [Miller] was huge for us.”

Amid 11 combined goals scored, Miller posted 38 saves, keeping the Sabres afloat, especially when the Bruins jumped out to a 3-1 lead midway through the second frame.

With the deficit still at two goals, Buffalo found themselves on a 5-on-3 power play after coincidental minors to Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. Vanek scored his second goal of the game to bring the Sabres within one.

“Well, I think the most important one was the one to make it 3-2,” Vanek said, recalling his eighth career hat trick. “Five-on-three, you need to score. We talked about that, and we did. It gave our team a boost.”

For the Sabres, the task coming in was to end an early season skid, and to do so against a physical Bruins team whom the Sabres have played very close the past few seasons.

“They’re a team that is really good defensively, doesn’t give up many opportunities, and they’re really good offensively as well,” said Buffalo captain Jason Pominville. “I think in the past, we’ve had some run-and-gun games with them where the score was 6-5, and even high scores like tonight.

“I don’t know what the reason is behind it, but I think if you look on our side we were happy to get the win. But, I think if you ask both coaches, they would probably want to lock it in a little bit more defensively.”

The task was not made easier for the Sabres playing against the top team in the East - a team that had yet to show a blemish on its home-ice record.

“It’s huge for us,” Pominville said. “Not only because they hadn’t lost at home, but they’re always a top team in our conference and our division.

“We were going through a little bit of a tough time, it was nice to get a win and put in a full 60-minute effort. It was good to be rewarded that way.”

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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