Viktor Olsen had two goals and an assist and the Buffalo Sabers topped the Canucks 5-1 on Saturday in front of a raucous crowd in Vancouver.
Rasmus Dahlen had a goal and contributed an assist, while Alex Tuch and Zemagus Gergensens scored for the Sabers (4-1-0) and Casey Mittelstadt added a pair of helpers.
Connor Garland had the lone score for the Canucks (0-4-2) with a wrist shot midway through the second.
Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko stopped 22 of 26 shots and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for Buffalo.
The Canucks have now lost six straight games and are the only NHL team yet to record a win this NHL season.
Three Vancouver jerseys hit the ice in the dying minutes of the game and boos cheered the players as they left the ice.
Vancouver pulled Demko with less than four minutes left in favor of an extra att*cker and Gergensons fired an easy shot into the net at the 16:31 mark.
Fifty seconds later, Olofsson slipped past the Canucks’ netminder for his second goal of the game.
The Sabers took a two-goal lead 1:54 into the third and two by one in the third.
Mittelstadt cut a pass across the slot and Olofsson fired a shot past Demko to make it 3-1.
Less than 30 seconds later, Vinnie Hinostroza appeared to briefly extend Buffalo’s lead. The goal light went in the back of the Canucks’ net when the veteran forward’s shot hit both posts and bounced off, but video review showed the puck never crossed the line.
Vancouver got on the board midway through the second with a power play marker after Dahlin was called for tripping.
Standing in front of the Sabres’ net, Tanner Pearson sent a blind, spinning, backhand pass to Garland and the winger fired a wrist shot past Anderson from the low hash mark.
The goal reduced the home side’s deficit to 2-1 and Garland celebrated with a massive fist pump.
Vancouver went 1-4 on the man advantage on Saturday while Buffalo went 1-1-1.
The Sabers lost a defenseman about three minutes into the middle frame after Matias Samuelsson hit Curtis Lazar along the endboards.
Samuelson went down awkwardly after the contact and lay on the ice, before a trainer came to the bench to help him, grabbing his right knee. He went straight to the Buffalo locker room and never came back.
A defensive error proved costly for the Canucks late in the first.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson fed the puck into the slot and Tuch was there to pick it up and fire a shot under Demko’s arm to give the Sabers a 2-0 lead at the 15:18 mark.
Buffalo opened the scoring with an early power play goal after Tyler Myers was called for tripping Tage Thompson.
Dahlin ripped a shot from inside the blue line and the puck beat Vancouver’s Elias Patterson in the high post before Demko went ahead in the game at 5:35.
The No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Dahlin has goals in five consecutive games and is the first Sabres’ defenseman to accomplish the feat.
Dahlin is the first NHL defenseman to start a season with a five-game goal streak, but he’s not the only Sabers player to start a point streak early in the campaign. Touch is on a four-game goal streak with six in the stretch.
Dashed blue line
Vancouver was missing three defensemen with various ailments, including star Quinn Hughes (unknown). The team recalled Noah Jolson from the American Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks earlier Saturday and blueliner Jack Rathbone made his season debut.
The Canucks continue their homestand on Monday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sabers visit the Kraken in Seattle on Tuesday.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, Canadian Press
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