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The Wraparound: Vancouver Canucks 6, Buffalo Sabres 5 (OT)

VANCOUVER -- J.T. Miller's power-play goal with 1:39 left in overtime gave the Vancouver Canucks a 6-5 win over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday in Rogers Arena, ruining Buffalo's comeback from a two-goal deficit in the third period.

With Henri Jokiharju in the penalty box for interference, Miller pounded a shot from right circle under the crossbar past Carter Hutton after taking a pass from Quinn Hughes.

The Sabres wiped out a 5-3 deficit in the final eight minutes as Zemgus Girgensons scored at 12:05 and Marcus Johansson tied the game on a slapshot with 58.5 seconds left and Hutton out for an extra attacker.

The loss was the Sabres' second in two games on their Western Canada trip. Josh Leivo and Antoine Roussel each scored two goals for the Canucks, who extended the winless streak of Hutton to nine games (0-5-4). Vancouver's Thatcher Demko improved to 5-0-1 at home this year.

Old friend: Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers haunted his old team, snapping a 3-3 tie with a short-handed goal at 4:51 of the third. Myers, 29, outskated Jokiharju through the neutral zone, took a pass from Miller and pounded the puck past Hutton to give the Canucks a 4-3 lead.

It was the first goal with the Canucks for Myers, who won the 2010 Calder Trophy with Buffalo. Myers signed a five-year, $30-million contract with Vancouver in July after spending five seasons in Winnipeg. He went there when the Sabres traded him to the Jets as part of the Evander Kane trade in 2015.

 

Roussel's second, off a Jake Virtanen rebound, put the Canucks up, 5-3, at 10:40.

A tough first period: The Sabres fumbled the puck with regularity in the opening 20 minutes and were probably lucky to only be down, 1-0, as they were outshot, 9-3. Leivo got the only goal at 12:57, burning Hutton to the stick side after Marco Scandella tried to jump a stretch pass near the Buffalo line and had the puck bound by him.

A much better second: The score was 3-3 after 40 minutes as the Sabres had a 17-10 advantage in shots on goal and drew three penalties. Buffalo fell behind, 2-0, on Roussel's goal at 3:07 but quickly drew even by scoring twice in a 64-second span.

Kyle Okposo, playing for the first time in 11 games in his return from a concussion, potted a Johan Larsson pass at 5:24 and Sam Reinhart tallied at 6:28, tipping in a Rasmus Ristolainen wrist shot that beat Demko during a delayed penalty call.

Leivo beat Hutton over the glove from the right circle at 17:11 but the Sabres tied it with 47.3 seconds left on Victor Olofsson's power-play goal.

Streaking: Jack Eichel assisted on the goals by Olofsson and Johansson, extending his point streak to a career-high 12 games. It's the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly hit 16 in a row in 2010. Ristolainen has a five-game streak for the first time since January, 2018 and is one off his career high.

Jack Eichel making his points on hottest streak of his career

Power play update: The Sabres have drawn 12 penalties in the two games on this trip and have scored with the man-advantage in consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 25-26. Of course, the Myers goal certainly stands as another black mark for the man-advantage unit.

The lineup: Colin Miller and Evan Rodrigues were healthy scratches while Okposo returned and was immediately reinstalled with former linemates Larsson and Girgensons.

Why was Miller a scratch for the seventh time in 13 games?

"We thought he’s been really strong the last few days, which is one of the reasons we ended up going with seven D over the last period of time," coach Ralph Krueger said before the game. "It’s just the way we see the pairs. Right through the lineup we’re looking for a little familiarity right now."

Next: From Rogers Arena to Rogers Place. The Sabres flew to Edmonton after the game and will meet Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the rest of the Oilers Sunday night at 8. It will be a return game for Krueger, who coached the Oilers during the 2013 lockout season but was fired that spring.

Draisaitl, who played for Krueger on Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, leads the NHL in scoring with 53 points (19-34) while McDavid is second with 52 (19-33). Veteran Mike Smith (7-7-1, 2.88/.905) is scheduled to play goal.

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