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The Sabres looking to open the season with three wins

WGR550
WGR550
 2021-10-19

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – On Tuesday the Sabres will attempt to open a season 3-0-0 for the first time since 2008-09 against the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver has had Buffalo’s number in the last 10 times they’ve played going 7-2-1.

The Sabres and the Boston Bruins lead the NHL in goals against at 1.00. Both Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski have played a game giving up one goal each. Anderson gets the net on Tuesday.

Buffalo and the Bruins are tied for 14 th in goal scoring.

The Sabres have had early power play success going 4-for-8, which is second in the league. The penalty killing is No. 1 killing 6-for-6.

Drake Caggiula is a big reason for why the Sabres have been great defensively and on the PK. “I think the biggest thing is the way we hunt down pucks, the way we’re always buzzing around, like we don’t give a lot of team’s time and space, so that’s what we’re preaching.”

Caggiula’s career high is 13 goals which he scored with the Edmonton Oilers in 67 games. The winger scored goals in college at North Dakota netting 25 in 39 games his senior year. Last year, he had just three goals in 38 games with the Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. Don Granato feels there’s more to come from the 27-year-old offensively, “He does have some offensive ability. He’s got a great shot, he has that scoring mentality, so there are some offensive things to really like.”

Caggiula thinks he can be more offensive because of Granato, “You’ve got to instill confidence in yourself, you’ve got to want the puck. I think in prior years I was a little timid to make plays and I got away from my true identity as a player.

“I’ve always been an offensive player all the way up until I got to the NHL and I lost sight of who I was as a player and Donnie having a familiarity with me from Chicago, he’s just let me play, he’s given me some freedom and taken the chains off me and let me run, I’ve been being a little more selfish and not deferring to anybody and I think the goals will come.”

The healthy scratches will be Christian Wolanin and John Hayden.

Vancouver has started the season on the road beating the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout, losing to the Detroit Red Wings and losing to the Oilers in a shootout. Brock Boeser has missed all three games due to injury, but will make his season debut against the Sabres.

J.T. Miller is 10th in league scoring with a goal and three assists for the Canucks. Nobody on either team has more than one goal.

Thatcher Demko has played two games for Vancouver in goal going 1-0-1 with a 2.79 goals against and .913 save percentage. Jaroslav Halak is 0-1-0 with a 2.08 goals gainst and .900 save percentage. Against the Sabres Halak is 13-4-0 with a 2.08 goals against and .923 save percentage.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for the pregame starting at 6:00 when they’ll be joined by Granato, Caggiula and Wolanin.

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