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Struggling Canucks remain winless after ’embarrassing’ 5-1 loss to Sabres

Boos rained down on the Vancouver Canucks as they left the ice on Saturday.

Hopes had been high for the team’s first home game of the season, but with just minutes left on the clock and the Buffalo Sabres up, three jerseys were tossed on the ice and others in the disgruntled crowd expressed their displeasure with jeers.

“It was the first time I’ve ever been involved with that,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Sabres handed his Canucks a 5-1 loss. “And obviously I hope the players feel the same way I feel about it, it’s just totally embarrassing. It’s something you never want to see.”

Vancouver (0-4-2) has now lost six games in a row and are the lone team that has yet to register a win this NHL season.

The fan’s reaction was fair, said Canucks winger Conor Garland.

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“We haven’t won a hockey game yet. But we’re working,” he said. “We just have to be a lot better and we just have to put a full game together. We’re confident in this group. We’re a really good hockey team. We just need to win games and get going here. It’s just been tough.”

Garland had the lone tally for the Canucks.

Buffalo (4-1-0) extended its win streak to three straight. The team’s confidence is high, said Rasmus Dahlin, who had a goal and an assist in the win.

“I think it starts from hard work and we really deserve this confidence we have right now,” he said.

“We’re playing away games but we’re playing them really, really good and we’re really starting to find our game.”

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Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko stopped 21-of-27 shots and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for Buffalo.

Vancouver pulled Demko in favour of an extra attacker with less than four minutes to go and Zemgus Girgensons put an easy shot into the yawning net at the 16:31 mark.

Fifty seconds later, Victor Olofsson put a shot past the Canucks’ netminder for his second goal of the game.

The Sabres regained a two-goal advantage 1:54 into the third off a two-on-one.

Vancouver went 1-for-4 on the man advantage Saturday while Buffalo was 1-for-1.

The Sabres lost a defenceman about three minutes into the middle frame after Mattias Samuelsson hit Curtis Lazar along the end boards.

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Vancouver was missing three defencemen with various ailments, including Quinn Hughes (lower-body). The team called up Noah Juulsen from the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks earlier on Saturday and Jack Rathbone made his season debut.


The Canucks continue their homestand Monday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2022.

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