Sharks 2, Sabres 3 (OT): Pavelski leads comeback bid, earns Sharks a point in OT loss

The Sharks paid for Brent Burns’ sins Tuesday night in Buffalo, and even Joe Pavelski couldn’t save them. The Sabres have now tied a franchise record win streak and lead the Eastern Conference with 36 points.

Burns’ decisions directly led to both of Buffalo’s regulation goals. He played Rasmus Ristolainen too passively in the second period and allowed the defender to pull a forward’s move around him. In the third period, he botched the man defense coverage: he drifted to double-cover puck carrier Sam Reinhart, leaving Nate Beaulieu to rush in and tap the pass in.

Pavelski scored both the Sharks’ goals in the final 10 minutes of the third period to drag the Sharks into overtime. His Clutch/60 is Very Good.

The Sabres gave the Sharks trouble in front of the net all game. Pass attempts died there, negating otherwise-good offensive connections.

The Sharks didn’t really threaten much after the first 30 seconds of overtime, but at least they managed to get a point from a game they would have lost if not for Pavelski.

Now on to Toronto tomorrow, I’ll see you all then!


The San Jose Sharks have two goals for tonight’s meeting against the Buffalo Sabres: Defy the curse of Buffalo, and prove the loss against the Vegas Golden Knights was a fluke.

To the first point, the Sharks have only one win against Buffalo while in Buffalo in their entire history — and for once, the Sabres good this season? They certainly won’t make this easy.

To the second point, the Sharks don’t seem to be getting any help from Pete DeBoer, who continues to tinker with the line up in ways that have proven to be unsuccessful.

There are never easy wins, sure, but some come harder than necessary. Strap in — this might be one of those games.


Martin Jones returns to the net in a move that makes sense for now, if not raising questions for who will play in the second half of the back-to-back the Sharks are on right now. More questions come in once again scratching Antti Suomela for Lukas Radil.

For the Sabres, they’ll be without Conor Sheary, who is out with an upper body injury. Marco Scandella will also be “unavailable” to play tonight. Carter Hutton will start in net.

Where to Watch

Puck drop is at 4 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on NBC Sports California.  The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX in the Bay Area. Of course, we’ll be liveblogging along with all of the action here.

Hello everyone! It’s Jay here, I’ve been busy with college stuff for a bit but I’m not dead yet. Let’s go!

First Period

16:26: First three and a half minutes went by without much happening, which I understand is better than how the Sharks started against the Golden Knights.

13:15: Timo Meier has been off for a few minutes after a big hit. Hopefully it’s for superficial repairs and not a serious injury.

12:24: Braun did a defense that ended with a Sabre knocking Jones off his feet. But yeah, good work says NBCS-CA.

8:36: No goals or penalties yet, but Meier is back in action. He had one of the Sharks’ best shooting opportunities and just missed high.

7:34: Sabres get their cycle going for about a minute before forcing Jones to make a good save in close.

3:07: Almost very bad things (like a Sabre goal) after a turnover in the D-zone. But almost! Jones got it.

2:30: Marcus Sorensen is pretty neat and nearly got the Sharks on the board. Denied by Hutton.

1:55: Sharks have more than doubled the Sabres in shots on goal. They’ve had two good shifts, forcing Hutton to make good saves.

End of the First

Sharks are outshooting the Sabres so far, though really most of those shots came in the final ten minutes of the period. Timo Meier returning after that head hit is a big relief. No penalties either way in the first 20; the game was pretty open-flowing for the majority.

The Sharks had some great scoring chances, which is a great sign. Keep focused, keep making those chances and a goal will happen.

Second Period

18:37: Sharks going on the power play, a good chance to get some of that late-first-period momentum back.

16:19: Not much on the power play. Hutton takes a stop in play to adjust his helmet; he’d very much like to have that working right.

12:11: Still no goals, though both teams have come close this period. The Sharks had a potential 2-on-1 after Burns got away with what could have been a penalty, but they couldn’t connect the pass up the right wing.

11:33: The Couture line just generated like three shots in 15 seconds.

10:16: Brendan Dillon gets sent off for tripping Pominville.

8:14: The first half of that penalty kill had me flinching hard, but the Sharks pulled out the kill with good stickwork in the last 45 seconds.

7:09: The Sharks are very lucky the Sabres didn’t score on any of the handful of giveaways that just happened.

5:18: Rasmus Ristolainen isn’t the guy who I expected to break the tie. Brent Burns didn’t seem to expect it either; he got caught flat-footed with Ristolainen driving down the wing.

3:43: Sabres have been pumped since the goal, and nearly got another one to extend the lead.

End of the Second

Brent Burns didn’t take Rasmus Ristolainen seriously and the Sharks paid for it. The Sabres have a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes and are 11-0-2 when they score the first goal.

The Couture line had one good shift around the middle of the period, but otherwise hasn’t shown much.

The Sabres have been disrupting the Sharks’ attempts to move the puck at the front of the net, and it’s been successful so far. The Sharks will have to adapt to keep in the game.

Third Period

18:25: A whole lot happened in front of the Sabres’ net, nothing went in it though. Sharks will be getting a power play from it though. This is an opportunity they need to take.

16:06: Penalty killed.

15:46: Nathan Beaulieu pops a cross-crease pass behind Jones. Burns was not in a great position.

13:58: And now the Sabres are going on the power play after Dillon takes another penalty. The penalty was overturned during the commercial break.

10:15: Sorensen just had a really good drive on the net, but unfortunately he didn’t have any support to snag his rebound.

10:11: Thornton and Larsson are mad at each other and both will sit for two minutes. Thornton started it with a hit on Larsson after the pass.

8:31: Joe Pavelski gets the Sharks on the board with a one timer toward the end of the four-v-four time.

4:22: Sharks will have a power play after the commercial break!

3:18: Pavelski ties the game on the power play! Took advantage of a weird bounce to tuck a wraparound before Hutton could recover.

End of Regulation

The final two minutes of the third period? Whack. Evander Kane had the chance to get the game-winner in his first game back in Buffalo, and somehow managed not to do that. The Sabres had a couple chances in the last minute.

Tied after 60 minutes.


4:30: Jack Eichel gets the first shot of overtime, saved by Jones.

4:00: Jones stops Ristolainen.

3:19: Jeff Skinner scores to end it. Jones made the decision to come out of the crease for a poke check. Unfortunately, it went right to Skinner who got the shot before Jones could retreat back into position.

Final: Sharks 2, Sabres 3