Buffalo is hoping to end its losing streak before the Olympic break begins. The Sabres have fallen out of the top spot in the Northeast Division. Buffalo trails Ottawa by one point, although the Sabres have two games in hand.
After tonight, the Sabres won’t play again until March, which will be a busy month for many NHL teams.
The Sharks defeated Buffalo 5-2 just a few weeks ago in San Jose. Buffalo looks to defeat Evgeni Nabokov and the Sharks tonight.
Both teams had a few chances, but neither could get on the board.
After a great play from Henrik Tallinder, the Sabres took a 1-0 lead on a goal scored by Paul Gaustad. It was Gaustad’s ninth of the season to put Buffalo on the board first.
After San Jose failed to capitalize on two power plays, Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek gave the Sabres a two goal lead. Vanek had missed a couple of opportunities earlier, but finally got one past Nabokov about halfway through the second period.
With less than three minutes to go, the population of Pominville increased as Buffalo went up by a 3-0 lead. San Jose finally got on the board five minutes into the third period. Kent Huskins shot the puck past Ryan Miller to cut the lead down to 3-1.
The Sharks had a chance with a late power play, but they were unable to beat Miller again. The Sabres went on to win, ending its losing streak right before the Olympic break.
Evgeni Nabokov’s streak of 11 straight road wins, which is an NHL record, was snapped in the loss on Saturday night.
With the win and an Ottawa loss, the Sabres moved back into the top spot in the Northeast Division. The Senators do have a chance to take the spot back as they visit the Islanders on Sunday, but Buffalo will then have three games in hand.
The Sabres are now off for two weeks and won’t play again until March. Ryan Miller, Lindy Ruff, and a few others will all be busy supporting their teams at the Olympics in Vancouver.
Good luck to all the Sabres Olympians!