All of the scoring came in the third period and Nicolas Deslauriers’ goal turned out to be the game-winner as the Sabres edged the Sharks, 2-1 for their first regulation win of the season.
Despite the struggles in recent seasons, Buffalo came in with a six game winning streak against the Sharks, and three in a row at the SAP Center. The Sabres also came into the game on a four game losing streak, scoring just one goal throughout that span. Things looked to be more of the same as the teams entered the third period scoreless.
The victory gave the Sabres their first regulation victory since March 20th, when they defeated Edmonton by a 3-1 score, a span of 20 games.
After some slow-paced action for a majority of the game, things quickly got going in the third period with three goals in a span of 2:27. Cody Hodgson broke the scoreless tie early in the third period with his first goal of the season, giving Buffalo its’ first lead of the current road trip.
Nicolas Deslauriers found the back of the net seconds later to put the Sabres in front by two. Sam Reinhart recorded an assist on the goal, registering his first career NHL point.
The Sharks bounced right back as Brent Burns utilized his teammate as a screen and ripped one past Neuvirth to cut the deficit in half.
Michal Neuvirth got the start in goal for the Sabres while Alex Stalock was in the crease for San Jose. Neuvirth came up huge for Buffalo, especially in the third period, where he made several key stops to keep the Sabres in front. The Sharks pulled the goaltender in favor of the extra attacker and had a couple of great chances, but Neuvirth held on and earned his first victory of the season.
The win was also Neuvirth’s first career victory against the Sharks and he stopped 29 shots on the night.
The Sabres stayed with the Sharks for a better part of the first half, and were able to keep a high-scoring team off the board for awhile. Neither team was able to generate many scoring chances, and for the few times they did, the goaltenders stood tall for the most part.
Five Sabres registered their first point of the season and Buffalo avoided becoming the first team to be shut out in four of their first nine games since the 1937-38 Montreal Maroons.
Tommy Wingels drilled Sabres captain Brian Gionta into the boards during the first period of play on what was a dangerous hit. Torrey Mitchell jumped in to defend his teammate, but after all of it, there were no penalties given on the play.
The Sabres will have the next couple of days off before heading to Toronto to finish off their four game road trip. That game will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and can be seen on MSG.