- Vanek’s career-best five-point game is the first by a Sabres player since Drew Stafford scored five (3+2) vs. ATL on Jan. 18, 2008. His nine shots tie a career high, set 1/30/2008 at FLA and tied twice last year (10/7/11 vs. ANA, 3/7/12 vs. CAR).
- Vanek now has 16 points (5+11) in his last 11 games.
- Ryan Miller improved to 6-1-1 in season-openers.
- Steve Ott scored on his first shot with the Sabres, matching a feat last accomplished by Ville Leino in last year’s season-opener vs. Anaheim (10/7/11).
- The last player to score in his Sabres debut was TJ Brennan, who scored in his NHL debut 11/23/11 vs. Boston.
On playing a more physical game: “Everyone in this lineup is trying to hold each other accountable to be harder to play against, and that falls into that category.”
On the strength of the power play: “It’s huge. I think special teams were key for us tonight, getting a couple goals there. Obviously I think we have enough depth on offense to roll with them and think we took advantage of some of their tired legs with them playing last afternoon.”
On the condensed season: “We have about maybe five or 10 minutes to think about this one and then we’ve got to get ready for Toronto … Can’t get too high, can’t get too low. It’s a great start but we got another one tomorrow.”
On the embelleshment penalty: “It’s one of those reactions. Obviously, they’re learning as well as we are to start the season. Everyone’s a little rusty. Who knows, everybody goes through it, can’t be hating on anybody right now, its too early. And who cares, we won 5-2.”
On playing with Grigorenko: “I feel bigger with him out there. That kid’s a beast already. You know he set the table, I kinda feel a little bit bad he set the table, I kinda almost had a gimme there on the side of the net. I wish I would’ve put it in for the kid, but you know what, this kid’s going to be real good. Obviously, I think it started tonight, people are going to start recognizing the stamina in a heartbeat and if I can stick with him for a while, obviously I’ll ride his coattails.”
On chemistry of the new line: “You want to find chemistry right away. Obviously, I thought we found that element.”
On overall play: “Got two or three tonight on the power play, gave up one shorthanded but it was a hell of a shot. But I think for the most part we were good overall. We made them work for their opportunities, they had to battle for everything they got, kept them to the outside for the most part and, I mean, we’re pretty happy about the result.”
On the slow start: “A little nervous, a little excitement. I think the biggest part was to keep our composure, and if you look at the games that were played last night there was a lot of penalties called, so we didn’t want to get over-excited and take those penalties that were going to hurt us and for the most part I think we did a pretty good job. Kept our composure, stayed focused on what we had to do and competed and won some battles.”
On late hits against them: “Yeah, it was good. I think on mine they got a penalty on it so I think nobody kind of wanted to go and so it probably could have been a penalty and [Stafford] realized that and he went in. You know what, [Stafford’s] a tough guy, he’s a big guy, he did a great job for us and its nice to see guys sticking up for each other. It’s something we talked about before we got going here.”
On a shortened season: “I mentioned this once, you know every game is so important in the schedule with a short season.”
On a shortened season: “We are at the bottom of the standings and we have to change that situation quickly if we want to be a part of the playoff race.”
On the Flyers’ play: “It’s not my job to judge what I see in front of me. I have to concentrate on my work, stopping the puck and the rest will just have to be left up to the coaches to take care of.”
On the Flyers’ start: “Its definitely no time to hit the panic button. Obviously we would have liked to get off to a better start this season. 0-2 is not the start we were looking for but we have a lot of games coming up here so there’s no point in dwelling on it. Learn from it, go forward and get better.”
On penalty killing: “I guess you have to be stronger on the clears. Not to make excuses, but a couple bounces went off sticks and skates and stuff like that in front of the net. But, you know, special teams need to be big on both sides and it is definitely an area that we need to improve on.”
On his penalties: “The first one I guess was a roughing penalty and one hooking and one tripping, so those minor penalties you definitely have to not take those and you can’t put your team down on that.”
On Flyers’ disallowed goals: “To be honest I don’t know with the replays and everything if it was a goal or not, but anytime there’s two goals like that obviously its going to change the game.”
On the Flyers’ start: “Bounces aren’t going our way right now, and obviously it’s not the start we were looking for, two losses in a row, but we just have to fight through it and come back.”
On penalty killing: “We’re working on the PK, and I think we have a good PK, so we have to stick with it.”
On the Flyers’ start: “Obviously it’s frustrating, and it’s not where we want be right now, but it’s a weird season so we need to stay in there. You never know what can happen. You can get hot and win six in a row.”