Sharks run win streak to five with 5-2 nod over Sabres

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE
– Joe Pavelski and Jed Ortmeyer each scored two goals Saturday
night as the streaking San Jose Sharks extended their winning
streak to five games with a 5-2 comeback win over the visiting
Buffalo Sabres at sold-out HP Pavilion.
SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski and Jed Ortmeyer each scored two goals Saturday night as the streaking San Jose Sharks extended their winning streak to five games with a 5-2 comeback win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres at sold-out HP Pavilion.

The Sharks have a four-point edge over the Chicago Blackhawks, assuring that San Jose will be atop the NHL standings Thursday night when the Blackhawks come to town.

Pavelski’s victim was his United States Olympic Team teammate, Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller.

Despite having lost five of their past seven, the Sabres have a seven-point lead over Ottawa in the Northeast Division with one game left on a seven-game roadtrip.

Buffalo scored 7:19 into the first period and held the advantage for more than 14 minutes.

The Sabres, owners of a 40-24 edge in shots on net for the game, fashioned a 14-5 shot differential in the first period.

Buffalo’s Tim Connelly, who scored his 100th NHL goal Tuesday against Anaheim, added to his total off an assist from Jason Pominville for the 1-0 Sabre edge. Buffalo rookie defenseman Tyler Myers kept a scoring chance alive when he stopped a clearing attempt at the right point. Two passes later, Connolly was in position to drive in a five-footer from the right flank behind goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Manny Malhotra set up the equalizer at 2:07 of the second period. As Sabre defenseman Steve Montador tried to control the puck inside the Buffalo blueline against Malhotra’s pressure, Montador’s pass bounded off Malhotra’s leg and behind the Buffalo net. Malhotra collected the puck and slid it to an advancing Pavelski in the low slot for the shot past Miller.

“Great communication with Pavs,” said Malhotra. “I couldn’t see him, but I heard him so I passed to the voice.”

San Jose earned a 2-1 lead 14:00 into the second when Dany Heatley jammed a feed from Joe Thornton under Miller from the edge of the crease.

“As the game went on, we got stronger,” said Heatley, who reached the 30-goal plateau for the sixth time in his NHL career.

The Sabres were able to square it at 2-2 when Pominville scored from a sharp angle during a power play 18 seconds into the third period.

San Jose began a streak of three goals in the period with Pavelski’s second tally of the night at 6:31. Devin Setoguchi’s one-timer from the high slot resulted in the puck dribbling over Miller’s shoulder. Pavelski was in position at the top of the crease to jump around the goalie and tap in the puck for his 12th of the season.

Ortmeyer added his first-ever two-goal performance to complete the scoring. Ortmeyer’s one-timer as he dropped to one knee inside the right circle off a feed from Ryane Clowe made it 4-2 at 10:27. Ortmeyer added an empty-netter with one minute remaining.

Scott Nichol, assisting on both Ortmeyer goals, was a plus-2 for the game and improved to plus-1 for the season. Nichol’s effort meant that every Shark has a plus rating in the plus-minus category.

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