VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Rasmus Dahlin scored for the fifth straight game, extending his NHL record for defenseman to open a season, and added an assist as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 Saturday night.
Dahlin also set a Sabres record as the first defenseman with a five-game goal streak. Victor Oloffson added two goals an an assist, Alex Tuch got his team-leading sixth goal of the season and fourth in two games, Zemgus Girgensons also scored, and Casey Mittelstadt added two assists for the Sabres.
Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots and has a .955 save percentage in winning his first two starts.
Buffalo (4-1-0) has wins in each of its first three road games for the first time since 2011 when the Sabres opened with four wins away from home. The Sabres conclude their road trip Tuesday night in Seattle.
“I think it starts from hard work and we really deserve this confidence we have right now,” Dahlin said. “We’re playing away games but we’re playing them really, really good and we’re really starting to find our game.”
Conor Garland scored for the Canucks, who remained the league’s only winless team (0-4-2). Thatcher Demko had 22 saves.
The Sabres lost defenseman Mattias Samuelsson after he hit Curtis Lazar along the end boards about three minutes into the middle period. Samuelsson went down awkwardly after the contact and lay writhing on the ice, grabbing his right knee before a trainer came out to help him to the bench. He went directly to the Buffalo locker room and did not return.
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 hit Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson in the high slot before sailing in past Demko 5:35 into the game.
After Vancouver’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave away the puck in the slot, Tuch was there to pick it up and whip a shot under Demko’s arm to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead with 4:42 left in the first.
Trailing 2-0, Vancouver got on the scoreboard midway through the second period with a power-play goal after Dahlin was called for tripping. Stationed in front of the Sabres’ net, Tanner Pearson sent a blind, spinning, backhand pass to Garland and the forward fired it past Anderson from the low hash mark.
Buffalo regained a two-goal advantage 1:54 into the third off a 2-on-1 as Mittelstadt sliced a pass across the slot and Olofsson snapped a shot past Demko.
“We were under a pretty good barrage in the second and (Anderson) and our group of defensemen, I thought played really well,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “And the third we needed to get back to a little bit more of our game. We were able to do that early and (Mittelstadt) and (Olofsson) teamed up and that was a really big moment for us.”
Trailing 3-1, Vancouver pulled Demko in favor of an extra attacker with less than four minutes to go and Girgensons put an easy shot into the yawning net with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. Just 50 seconds later, Olofsson put a shot past the Canucks’ goalie for his second of the game.
Vancouver was missing three defensemen with various ailments, including star Quinn Hughes.