The San Jose Sharks (33-17-4) led 4-1 at one point in the third period before falling apart and allowing the Buffalo Sabres (22-21-10) to make a tremendous comeback, as the Sabres won the game 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday night.
Marcus Sorenson made his NHL debut for the Sharks, and he took his obligatory solo lap before the game.
Just past five minutes into the game Timo Meier fought at the front of the Sabres net and eventually got the puck past Buffalo goalie Anders Nilsson, but the referee blew his whistle (apparently) before the puck crossed the goal line.
Joe Thornton picked up a penalty shortly after Meier’s goal was waived off, and the Sabres were able to cash in late on the power play to put the Sabres up 1-0. Matt Moulson was given credit for his 11th goal of the season.
With 5:57 left in the first period Brent Burns sent a rocket of a one-timer toward the Buffalo net, and Joel Ward ricocheted the puck off of his stick and into the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1. No possibility of the referees jobbing the Sharks of a second goal in the frame.
The goal was Ward’s sixth of the season, and it also marked the 14th straight road game that Burns has recorded a point.
Two minutes later, Mikkel Boedker left the Sharks defensive zone with speed and took it all the way to the front of the Sabres’ net as he put a solid shot on net. Logan Couture saw that Nilsson didn’t cover up the puck and was able to get to it before the net minder froze the puck, and lifted it up into the net to put the Sharks up 2-1. It was Couture’s 19th goal of the season, as Boedker and Marc-Edouard Vlasic picked up the assists.
Following Moulson’s goal that gave the Sabres the 1-0 lead, Buffalo was outshooting San Jose 9-6. After the goal, the Sharks outshot the Sabres 11-1, as they carried a 2-1 lead into the locker room after the first period.
The Sharks continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal in the second, as they outshot the Sabres 6-3 in the first seven minutes of the period. The Sabres had the best look of the beginning of the period on a three-on-one breakaway, but Brenden Dillon was able to break up the pass to the front of the net, to keep the score at 2-1. Joe Pavelski ripped a wrist shot from the top of the zone just over seven minutes into the period, but it clanked off the cross bar.
With 8:37 remaining in the second period, the Sharks lit the lamp again as Melker Karlsson came onto the ice after a line change, and he came into the offensive zone untouched and fired the puck past Nilsson to push the lead to 3-1. Michael Haley and Sorenson picked up the assists, and it was Sorenson’s first career NHL point.
May want to guard that guy, eh Sabres?
The Sabres were extremely sloppy for the entirety of the second period, and were beat on multiple plays as the Sharks showed an extra gear of effort that the Sabres couldn’t match.
Buffalo did have a good opportunity at the end of the period, but the horn sounded for the teams to break into their respective locker rooms before they could capitalize on their scoring chance. The Sharks led in shots 31-18 after two periods.
The third period got off to a pedestrian start in the first five minutes. Paul Martin was struck in the face by a Buffalo stick, and the Sharks got a power play opportunity. Pavelski received a perfect pass from Burns and he beat Nilsson with his shot to push the Sharks ahead 4-1. It was his 18th goal of the season, as Burns picked up another assist and Patrick Marleau added his first point of the night with the secondary assist.
Burns picked up a penalty with 11:39 remaining in the third period, and the Sabres were able to cash in on the man-advantage. The Sharks also picked up another penalty while they were a man down, as Karlsson had to then replace Burns in the box for throwing his stick. Following the Sharks killing off the Sabres’ power play, Evander Kane netted the third goal of the game for the Sabres to cut the lead to 4-3 with 8:24 remaining. Kyle Okposo evened the score at 4-4 for the Sabres under a minute later. The three goals were scored in a matter of 3:28.
No more goals got past either Martin Jones or Nilsson for the remainder of regulation, and the two teams headed to overtime with the score knotted at 4-4.
Jack Eichel crashed the net 30 seconds into overtime and made contact with Jones. Jones went down onto the ice immediately after the contact was made, and the referee blew the whistle.
On a two-on-one rush for the Sabres, Kane beat Jones for the second time of the game to end the contest and extend the Sharks woes in Buffalo.
- With the loss, the Sharks fell to 2-15-2 all-time when playing at Buffalo.
- Burns’ 14-game road point streak is the second longest streak in the NHL since Paul Coffey had a 15-game streak in the 1994-1995 season.
Fear The Fin Three Stars
- Evander Kane
- Brent Burns
- Jack Eichel