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Ryan Miller hands former team its 14th straight loss as Canucks down Sabres 5-2

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VANCOUVER - Ryan Miller made 22 saves in his first game against his former team Friday as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.

Chris Higgins, with a goal and an assist, Bo Horvat, Yannick Weber, Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata scored for Vancouver (27-17-3) as the Canucks snapped a two-game slide. Christopher Tanev added two assists.

Chris Stewart had both goals for Buffalo (14-33-3), which lost its 14th straight in regulation.

Matt Hackett stopped 33 shots in his first start of the season for the NHL-worst Sabres, who have not won on the road since late November.

Miller spent 12 seasons with the Sabres' organization, leading the club to back-to-back Eastern Conference finals in 2006 and 2007, but was dealt to the St. Louis Blues before last season's trade deadline with Buffalo in full rebuild mode.

The 34-year-old signed with the Canucks as a free agent in July and has been big part of why Vancouver currently occupies a playoff spot in the West.

Tied 1-1 after Friday's first period, the Canucks grabbed the lead with power-play goals 2:36 apart early in the second that snapped an ugly 2 for 29 stretch with the man advantage. Weber scored his fourth of the season at 1:43 off the rush before Bonino banged home a loose puck for his 11th at 4:19.

Vancouver had a number of chances to stretch that lead further, but Stewart scored his second of the night, and second on the power play, when his centring pass from the side of the net deflected in off Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis for his ninth at 14:16.

Miller made the save of the night on a Drew Stafford breakaway on another power play a few minutes later.

Higgins then put things out of reach with his seventh of the season at 5:31 of the third by finishing off a nice passing play with the teams playing 4 on 4. The goal snapped a 12-game drought for Higgins and was his just his second in the last 23.

Vrbata scored into an empty net with under a minute to go for his 19th.

Despite playing its third game in four nights, Buffalo opened the scoring on the power play four minutes into the first when Stewart beat Miller on the Sabres' first shot.

Hackett ??? who suffered a serious knee injury at the end of last season ??? made a great desperation save with his stick on Vancouver's Shawn Matthias a few minutes later, but the Canucks eventually tied it with 24 seconds left in the period when Horvat poked home his own rebound for his fourth.

The goal was Vancouver's first at home in 195 minutes 57 seconds??? a stretch of nearly 10 periods.

Notes: With both Derek Dorsett and Brad Richardson out with injuries up front for the Canucks, Ronalds Kenins made his NHL debut. ... Cody Hodgson, who was dealt by Vancouver to Buffalo for Zack Kassian back in 2012, was scratched by the Sabres.

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