VANCOUVER - For one game at least, Zack Kassian lived up to his billing as a power forward who can produce points. Kassian recorded four assists to earn the first four-point night of his star-crossed NHL career Sunday night as the Vancouver Canucks rallied to beat his former team, the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. "It was one of those games (where) it seemed the puck followed me," said Kassian. "Its nice personally, but its even better we keep this streak going." The Canucks (33-30-10) have now posted two consecutive wins for the first time since mid-January. Vancouver pulled within three points of eighth-place Phoenix, and one point of ninth-place Dallas in the race for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Sabres (20-43-8), last in the NHL by a wide margin, suffered their eighth loss in the past 10 games as they squandered an early 2-0 lead. Brad Richardson, Shawn Matthias, Yannick Weber and David Booth, with his first goal in 33 games, scored for the Canucks, who have won five of their last eight contests. The Sabres went ahead 2-0 only 3:29 into the game, but the score was tied 2-2 after the first period and the Canucks led 3-2 following the second. "In this league you cant play good sometimes," said Sabres coach Ted Nolan. "Youve got to play good all the time. Thats a lesson to learn and something we have to do to move forward." Tyler Ennis and Jamie McBain provided the offence for Buffalo. Kassian has often faced criticism since he was traded to Vancouver from the Sabres at the NHL trade deadline in February 2012 in the four-player deal that saw former Canuck fan favourite Cody Hodgson head to Buffalo. Kassian, Buffalos top 2009 draft pick (13th overall) excelled offensively two days after saying he is playing primarily a checking role now while Hodgson is primarily an offensive player. Hodgson, Vancouvers first choice (10th overall) in 2008, went without a point while the Sabres were badly outplayed for most of the game. "Im excited for every game, but obviously you want to play hard against your old team," said Kassian. "You definitely want to get the win, but its nice when you play well individually and as a line." Matthias, who was acquired in the Roberto Luongo trade from Florida, also had two assists while Richardson had one helper. The Canucks had not posted two straight wins since beating the Calgary Flames on Jan. 18, when coach John Tortorella drew a suspension for charging their dressing room between the first and second periods, and Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 21. Vancouver goaltender Eddie Lack overcame a slow start to earn the win. After allowing goals on Buffalos first and third shots of the game, Lack was sharp and finished with 16 saves. "The team did a great job bouncing back," said Lack. "I felt like I wasnt really tracking the puck well the first half of the game but then I just kind of settled down and felt better after that." Vancouvers quick rally from its early deficit spoiled a strong effort from rookie Buffalo goaltender Nathan Lieuwen, a 22-year-old Abbotsford, B.C., native who made just his second NHL career start and third appearance after being promoted from Rochester of the AHL on March 16. He recorded 32 saves as his club was outshot 36-18. "Thats frustrating and thats hockey," he said. "You get some good bounces and you do good things and you make mistakes, so Ill definitely learn from it." Weber scored the winning goal just 1:40 into the second period as he put a shot through Lieuwens legs to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead. Sabres defenceman Mike Weber was close to his Canuck namesake on the play, but Lieuwen said the puck went straight in. "I thought I had it and, obviously, there was a hole," said Lieuwen. "I dont know what to tell you. Thats obviously one that I feel I can obviously save. What a terrible night for that to go in." The goal sullied his "dream come true" of playing in Vancouver, where he has "tonnes of family." Ennis was also left frustrated as he watched the Sabres lead disintegrate after he had McBain had put them ahead. "We heard (Lack) has been shaky, so we wanted to get on him early, and we did," said Ennis. Kassian was not around for the final horn because he took a puck between the eyes, for the second time on the night, with 1:32 left in the game. He needed "about 10 stitches" to repair a cut. "So my face isnt getting any prettier, thats for sure," he said. Notes: Vancouver lost Henrik Sedin to an apparent knee injury late in the second period as he collided with a fallen Buffalo player behind the Sabres net. "I went to hit a guy and he came back off the boards and he fell on top of me, so well see how it is (Monday)," said Sedin. The mishap occurred after the Canucks and NHL honoured the Canucks captain for his 1,000th NHL game, played March 12 in Winnipeg. NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations Jim Gregory represented the league. ... Vancouver forwards Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin returned after suffering injuries earlier this month, but Alex Burrows missed the game with a hand injury suffered Thursday against Nashville. ... Hodgson played his 200th NHL regular-season game. … Lack made his 35th start of the season. At the outset of the season, Tortorella indicated he would get 15-20 starts. … Buffalo defenceman Alexander Sulzer, who was acquired with Hodgson from the Canucks, missed his fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. … Sabres starting goaltender Michal Neuvirth, acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, also missed his fourth consecutive contest, with a lower-body ailment. … Neuvirth and Matt Hackett, who dressed as Buffalos backup, were traded for each other in the 2007-08 OHL season. Neuvirth went to Windsor from Plymouth while Hackett went the other way. Reggie White Packers Jersey
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. Second-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States made lighter work of her day as she beat 2009 champion and Swiss wild card Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-3. Two seeds fell: No. 4 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium lost to Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-4, 6-2, and No.NEW YORK, N.Y. - San Francisco Giants World Series star Pablo Sandoval was among 12 free agents given $15.3 million qualifying offers Monday by their former teams.Detroit made the offers to pitcher Max Scherzer and first baseman-designated hitter Victor Martinez, and Pittsburgh to left-hander Francisco Liriano and catcher Russell Martin.Also receiving offers were shortstop Hanley Ramirez (Los Angeles Dodgers), outfielder Nelson Cruz (Baltimore), right-hander James Shields (Kansas City), closer David Robertson (New York Yankees), outfielder Melky Cabrera (Toronto), pitcher Ervin Santana (Atlanta) and outfielder Michael Cuddyer (Colorado).An offer could be made only to a free agent who was with the team for the entire season, and players have until Nov. 10 to accept. The price was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.If a player rejects a qualifying offer and signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft, his former team would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round.The club signning that player loses its first-round pick in the amateur draft, unless that pick is among the top 10, in which case the club signing that player loses its next-highest pick.dddddddddddd.None of the 22 qualifying offers made after the past two seasons was accepted.A total of 137 players became free agents, and 136 can start negotiating money with all teams starting Tuesday. Reliever Koji Uehrara agreed last week to stay with Boston for an $18 million, two-year deal.Three players who potentially could have become free agents stayed with their teams. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez exercised his half of a $14 million mutual option with Milwaukee; left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs; and Tampa Bay exercised a $2.5 million option on right-hander Joel Peralta.Pitcher A.J. Burnett declined a $12.75 million player option to return to Philadelphia. Burnett and Baltimore catcher Nick Hundley became the final free agents.Kansas City exercised a $7 million option on reliever Wade Davis, who would have been eligible for salary arbitration. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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