Sabres Defeat Sharks

One night after the Sharks rallied to win from a 4-1 deficit, San Jose found themselves in a similar position. Buffalo took a 3-0 lead over the Sharks Thursday night at HSBC arena, but the Sharks didn’t have enough to come back and win it.

Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek put Buffalo up 2-0. Jason Pominville upped the lead after scoring shorthanded on a breakaway. Toward the end of the second period, the tide turned as the Sharks got back into the game.

Logan Couture notched his 14th goal of the season on the power play. Just minutes later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied his first of the season and San Jose was within one at the end of two periods.

“We wanted to make sure we were pushing the pace on them,” Cody McCormick said. ” Our focus on our game and not to change anything. Everyone was on the same page there wasn’t any doubt how we were coming out in the third.”

Right out of the gate in the third,  McCormick beat Antti Niemi to take away San Jose’s momentum. Halfway through the third Douglas Murray drew the Sharks to within one goal again, but the Sabres were able to hang on.

Paul Gaustad buried an empty net goal with 27 seconds to go, but the Sabres weren’t done. Derek Roy fed Thomas Vanek a one-timer that beat Niemi for Buffalo’s sixth goal of the night.

The Sabres outshot San Jose 37-29 on the night.

Toronto and Ottawa both lost on Thursday, so the Sabres were able to move further ahead. However, Boston defeated the Islanders, so the Sabres remain seven back of the second place Bruins.

The Sabres are five points out of seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida and Tampa Bay are both tied with 33 points. Buffalo will face Florida twice and Tampa Bay once over the next few weeks.

Buffalo has now won three out of four games to begin the month of December. The Sabres have got to gain ground fast, and are on the right track by earning seven out of a possible eight points so far this month.

“We’ve gotta gain ground an a hurry,” Lindy Ruff said. “We cant go 3-2 or 5-4. We need to make sure, in five game segments, to get seven or eight points.”

The Sabres will host Pittsburgh on Saturday, followed by Boston on Wednesday. Buffalo lost to both of those teams over the last few weeks, so only time will tell if the Sabres can get some revenge.

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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