Vancouver Canucks shutout Sabres, 3-0, in northern New York

Chris Higgins, Brad Richardson, and Ryan Stanton potted goals against a trying Ryan Miller, and the Canucks rolled to the shutout.

Ryan Kesler and a gaggle of Canucks celebrate Chris Higgins' first period goal – the winning goal – against the Buffalo Sabres.

Ryan Kesler and a gaggle of Canucks celebrate Chris Higgins' first period goal – the winning goal – against the Buffalo Sabres.

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Sure, the Buffalo Sabres are as close to pathetic – right now – as any NHL team could be, and the Vancouver Canucks took full advantage of that in a 3-0 shutout… a shutout that saw them outshoot Buff heavily and pepper goalie Ryan Miller with 34 shots, good enough for a goal every period.

But the Sabres still had their chances. A goal-mouth scramble from Cody Hodgson and a tricky point from Christian Ehrhoff were both handled by a capable Roberto Luongo, and Thomas Vanek’s wrist shot ring-a-ding-dinged off the crossbar and outside post without scraping mesh in the third.

The game was never in doubt for Vancouver, but the trip gets tougher from here on out: the Canucks will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins in the third game of their seven-match away tryst on Saturday, before heading to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

While the Jackets aren’t a classically intimidating opponent, they’re certainly an upgrade over the one-win Flyers and Sabres, the last two teams the Nucks have swatted.