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Canucks 3, Sabres 0

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Vancouver Canucks continued their season-long seven-game road trip in fine fashion Thursday night, cruising to a 3-0 victory over the struggling Buffalo Sabres.

Chris Higgins, Brad Richardson and Ryan Stanton scored for the Canucks, who improved to 5-3. It was the second road victory in a row for Vancouver, which began its road trip with a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Things continue to go from bad to worse for the Sabres, who fell to 1-7-1. Following Stanton's goal that made it 3-0 at 10:04 of the third period, there were loud "Fire Darcy" chants -- referring to Sabres general manager Darcy Regier -- echoing throughout the First Niagara Center.

The Canucks were the dominant team from the opening whistle, peppering Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller with eight shots in the first 1:49. Higgins put the Canucks on the board on Vancouver's 16th shot just at 14:53, ripping a one-timer past Miller from the slot.

It was the first time the Canucks have opened up the scoring in five games. On the goal, the puck fell directly to Higgins after a cross-ice pass was deflected by Sabres forward Cody McCormick.

Vancouver increased its lead to 2-0 on its NHL-best third short-handed goal of the season. Defenseman Jasson Garrison's shot deflected off Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk, and Richardson swatted the puck out of the air and past Miller at 11:05. It was Richardson's second short-handed goal this season and the seventh of his career.

For all of Buffalo's struggles, it appeared to get back into the game at the start of the third before Thomas Vanek's goal was overturned via video replay. Vanek appeared to finish off a 3-on-2 rush with a blistering wrist shot, but the puck actually ricocheted off the crossbar and the left post before landing on the goal line.

Stanton put the final nail in the Sabres coffin midway through the third period.

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo made the most of his limited workload, stopping all 25 shots he faced. Miller made 31 saves for the Sabres.

NOTES: Leading up to Thursday night's game, the Sabres had not lost at home to the Canucks in more than 10 years. Vancouver's last road win in Buffalo came on Feb. 7, 2003. ... Buffalo C Zemgus Girgensons missed the game after being struck in the face with the puck on Tuesday, but Sabres coach Ron Rolston said Girgensons could return for Saturday's game against Colorado. ... Girgensons, D Jamie McBain and RW Patrick Kaleta (suspension) were scratched for the Sabres. ... D Yannick Weber, C Zac Dalpe and D Alexander Edler were scratched for the Canucks. ... Canucks coach John Tortorella served as an assistant head coach with the Sabres for six seasons (1989-90 to 1994-95). ... This was the 111th game all time between Buffalo and Vancouver.
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