Sharks make the win column, 3-2 over Buffalo

San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE – San Jose took a step in the right direction Thursday night with a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in front of 17,402 fans at SAP Center.
The Sharks managed an 8-6 edge in shots on net in the scoreless third period to improve to 1-2 with two points in seventh place in the eight-team Pacific Division.
The Sharks wrap up the five-game homestand with games against the New York Islanders Saturday night and Montreal Tuesday night.
Although Buffalo had won all but nine of the previous 37 games against the Sharks, the home team never trailed entering the second intermission and led for all but 10:30 of the first two periods.
Tomas Hertl netted the game’s first goal 2:15 into the opening period.
The Sabres were penalized two minutes for slashing 36 seconds into action. The second power play unit made it 1-0 when Hertl set up at the left edge of the Buffalo crease and was able to jam in the pass from Kevin Labanc despite a heavy defensive push by Jake McCabe.
Buffalo evened the score at 1-1 with 12:26 gone when Jason Pominville beat goaltender Martin Jones from the high slot. The Sabres ran a sharp 3-on-2 move that found Jack Eichel dropping a pass between the circles to a waiting Pominville.  
The Sharks completed the first-period scoring when Chris Tierney notched the scoring play of the night at 15:11.
Timo Meier worked the puck to the right boards in the Buffalo zone before passng to Joonas Donskoi at the goalline. Donskoi started to skate behind the net before backhanding a pass at the right post to Tierney has goaltender Robin Lehner moved to the opposite post.
Both of the goals in the second period were at even strength. Eichel and Pominville worked a 2-on-1 play for a 2-2 deadlock at the 6:50 mark. Shark defenseman Brenden Dillon was the lone Shark assisting Jones when Eichel forced Dillon to that side of the ice and Pominville responded with the cross-ice offering from Eichel at the right post.
Meier scored his fourth career NHL goal at 14:30 for the San Jose 3-2 advantage. Meier, who turned 21 on Sunday, was involved in a play in the left circle before he released to the right post away from the action. Donskoi’s shot from the left circle was stopped by Lehner but a Sabre kicked the puck to a waiting Meier for the one-timer.
The Buffalo staff pulled Lehner with 1:34 to play but could not muster a shot on net toward Jones. Both Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski had chances at an empty net in the final 10 seconds but the Sharks settled for the one-goal edge.
Defenseman Paul Martin was placed on Injured Reserve today and rookie Joakim Ryan was called up for his NHL debut.

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