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Penguins hoping to keep Vanek cool for Sabres

By John Vogl

Thomas Vanek leads the NHL in goals and points. The Penguins have noticed.

"Vanek has started off extremely hot, and it’s not something new," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said following practice this afternoon in First Niagara Center. "He’s a dangerous player. He’s a skilled player. He can make plays, score goals. He’s a guy who doesn’t have a reputation for doing it on the inside, but he’s good at the net. He’s good in tight spaces. He goes to the net, gets a shot off, does it on the power play.

"He’s a dangerous guy you’re going to have to watch."

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury concurred.

"He’s been very hot this season, and every year I think he’s always a threat offensively," Fleury said. "He’s got a quick release, good shot and is always in the right spot around the net it seems. He’s certainly a guy we have to keep an eye on."

Vanek has 11 goals and 23 points, but he's been kept off the score sheet in three straight.

"I’m feeling good,” said Vanek, who expects to contribute with linemates Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville on Sunday when the Sabres host the Pens at 12:30 p.m. “Obviously, the three of us had a good run, but I think we’re practicing well, figuring things out, and we’ll be back on the score sheet.”

To hear more from Bylsma -- including his thoughts on the Sabres adding Steve Ott and John Scott -- click the audio file below.


Pittsburgh Penguins | Thomas Vanek
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |