Thomas Vanek scored two power-play goals and added an assist and newcomer Ville Leino made a good first impression in front of his countrymen as the Buffalo Sabres crushed the Anaheim Ducks, 4-1, in Helsinki, Finland, on Friday afternoon.
Jason Pominville added a goal and two assists and Ryan Miller made 29 saves for the Sabres, who were serving as the home team at Hartwall Areena.
Vanek, who has led Buffalo in goals each of the last five seasons, picked up right where he left off in the first period. Ducks center and Finland native Saku Koivu was called for a hooking penalty, and Vanek made him pay for it with less than 20 seconds left in the power play, pushing the puck between Jonas Hiller’s pads to put the Sabres on top.
Leino, who was born in Savonlinna, Finland, signed a six-year contract with Buffalo over the summer and set about earning his money at the 8:30 mark of the first period when he snapped a shot past Hiller on the stick side.
Anaheim got back a goal early in the second period, but Pominville scored off an assist from Vanek just over a minute later. Vanek added another power-play tally later in the period.
Helsinki native Teemu Selanne was held to one shot for the Ducks.