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Having averted setting a record for the worst start in franchise history, the Buffalo Sabres look to ride the momentum of their first victory when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. The beleaguered Sabres finally broke into the win column with a come-from-behind victory at the New York Islanders on Tuesday, ending a season-opening seven-game drought. "Hopefully this can change our confidence," left wing Marcus Foligno said.
Vancouver is also coming off a comeback victory, scoring a pair of goals in the third period to beat a one-win Philadelphia squad on Tuesday in the opener of a seven-game road trip. Captain Henrik Sedin became the first player in franchise history to eclipse 800 points with a pair of assists, tying him for the league lead with eight. Both teams have trouble getting started - Vancouver has allowed the first goal in five straight games and the Sabres have been outscored 10-1 in the first period.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RSN Pacific (Vancouver), MSG (Buffalo)
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (4-3-0): Vancouver coach John Tortorella made a tactical move and decided to split up Henrik Sedin and his twin brother Daniel in the third period of Tuesday's game, moving the captain on a line with Ryan Kesler and Christopher Higgins. The switch yielded huge dividends as Higgins notched his first goal and Kesler capped a two-goal effort with the game-winner. "Yeah, he's a fun player to play with," Kesler said of Henrik. "He's always looking for you, and your job is pretty easy with him - just get open and get ready to shoot."
ABOUT THE SABRES (1-6-1): Buffalo's management had little time to savor the first victory in the wake of a report by SportsNet that general manager Darcy Regier could be dismissed soon, which the team denied Wednesday morning by saying there is "no truth" to it. Goaltender Ryan Miller turned aside 41 shots Tuesday - his third 40-save effort in his last four games - and the Sabres scored more than two goals for the first time. "It gives us a chance to feel good for a little while and see if we can build," Miller said. "The key now is to build.”
1. The Canucks have lost four of five to the Sabres, including the last three visits to Buffalo.
2. The Sabres were 1-for-4 on the power play versus the Islanders to fall to 3-for-29. Vancouver is 0-for-8 with the man advantage in the past five games.
3. Sabres RW Patrick Kaleta will miss the third game of his 10-game suspension while Canucks D Alex Edler will serve the finale of his three-game banishment.
PREDICTION: Canucks 3, Sabres 2