The Sharks entered Saturday's game with the
Buffalo Sabres riding a season high 3-game win streak, and a hot start to the
contest looked as if the Sharks might extend that streak. Struggling themselves
this season, the Sabres had other ideas, so they dispatched the Sharks with 5
unanswered goals to take a 5-2 victory at SAP Center.
It was a Dr
Jekyl - Mr Hyde performance by the Sharks who enjoyed a rare 2-goal lead to
start a game. The Sabres would even things up by the end of the period, and
then wore down San Jose.
The Sharks cracked the score sheet first 8:04
in to the contest when Marc-Edouard Vlasic found the back of the net with a
shot from the left point. The Sharks defenseman used traffic in front of the
net to screen Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen's vision. The puck slipped
between Luukkonen and the left post low to the stick side.
defense added more scoring when Jan Rutta scored less than 3 minutes later. The
shot was aided by Sabres defenseman who tried to get his stick in front of the
shot, but ended up altering its trajectory and crossed up Luukkonen.
JJ Peterka put a backhand shot past Kaapo Kahkonen after Dylan Cozen tried
wrapping the puck around the right post. Cozen's attempt slipped through the
crease to the left side where Peterka was able to get his stick on it, lifting
it over Kahkonen's right pad.
Buffalo tied the game with just under 2
minutes remaining in the period when Jordan Greenway chipped a quick Alex Tuch
feed past Kahkonen. Tuch was attacking the net off the right post, drawing
Kahkonen's attention to that side. He dished to his left where Greenway fought
off Kyle Burroughs for the tap in goal.
The Sabres took the lead 1:36
into the 2nd period when Tuch fired a shot from the high slot, using Greenway
as a screen. The shot evaded Kahkonen by sliding just inside the left post.
Paterka landed a gut-punch goal 4:33 into the 3rd
period off a 3-on-2 play that ended with a shot from the right dot. Kahkonen
was square to the shot, but he was simply late to get a glove to the waist high
The Sharks were presented with one last shot at getting back
into the game when Kyle Okposo was whistled for interference. The play also
included a bushel of roughing penalties after the Sharks took offense to
Okposo's hit on Nikita Okhotiuk. San Jose would still have the mad advantage,
but as has been the case all season, the Sharks power play has been irrelevant.
Offsetting penalties to Connor Clifton and William EKlund opened up
the ice a bit so Sharks head coach David Quinn elected to pull Kahkonen for the
extra skater. Buffalo simply used that scenario to pad their lead when
DylanCozens converted the empty-net goal to cap the game's scoring. Game
* Defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin made his NHL debut on
Saturday with the Sharks. The young Russian was called up after San Jose placed
Henry Thrun on the injured list. Mukhamadullin wore jersey number 85.
* Defenseman Ty Emberson returned from a 7 game absence after he dealt with an
* Jan Rutta extended his game scoring streak to 4 games
with his 1st period goal. Ryan Carpenter had his 4-game scoring streak snapped.
Nico Sturm had his 3-game point streak ended.
* Buffalo out-shot the
Sharks 36-25. They would limit San Jose to 7 shots in the critical 3rd period.
* San Jose held advantages in hits (9-7) and faceoff wins (38 of 69).