NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Buffalo
(Friday, February 13th)
Final Score: Buffalo 6, San Jose 5 (SO)
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Derek Roy capped a wild and emotional affair at HSBC Arena with the game-winning shootout score, and Ryan Miller made it stand up with a stop of Milan Michalek as Buffalo edged San Jose, 6-5, after blowing a three-goal lead.
Jason Pominville, who sent the game to overtime after Buffalo watched a 4-1 edge disappear, logged a goal and an assist along with Roy and Ales Kotalik as the Sabres halted a two-game slide to end what was an emotional night for the citizens of western New York.
The Sabres observed a moment of silence to respect those lost in the tragedy of Flight 3407 prior to the game. Thursday's accident, in which a commuter plane crashed into house near the city, claimed the lives of all 49 on board the plane and one person on the ground.
"This morning and even tonight before the game, our thoughts and prayers were with the families affected by this," said Pominville. "For us to be able to stick with it and get a big win is obviously huge for our team, but I think it's bigger for the community."
Patrick Marleau scored twice and Joe Thornton assisted on four of the Sharks' five goals as the visitors dropped to just 1-0-3 on a season-long five-game swing scheduled to end Sunday in New Jersey.
Dan Boyle had a goal and an assist in the loss while Evgeni Nabokov was beaten five times on 35 shots.
San Jose's third period opening score at 6:09 brought the Sharks all the way back as Boyle sent a cross-ice pass to the left circle where Devin Setoguchi's one-timer tied the game at four on the power play.
The Sharks took their first lead of the game at 10:14 as Joe Pavelski got off a shot from low in the right circle while in the midst of three Buffalo defenders. The shot surprised a deflated Miller as the puck sailed helplessly over his left shoulder.
Miller headed to the bench with 1:22 to play for the extra attacker and after a chippy sequence to try and secure the puck, it squirted back from the right corner toward the circle where Sabres' captain Craig Rivet blasted a slap shot that was tipped past Nabokov by Pominville with just 3.9 ticks on the clock, sending the game to overtime. Rivet finished with three assists.
Nabokov robbed Rivet with a glove save in the extra session and Miller had to stop a point-blank shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic to send the game to a shootout.
Both goaltenders stood tall through three rounds of the shootout before Pominville finally lit the lamp with a nifty wrist shot. Miller, who made 30 saves, had a chance to win it for the Sabres ,but Marleau got a backhander to go. Roy, though, followed suit with a backhand tally, keeping the onus on Miller, who came up with the stop of Michalek to preserve the victory.
"We battled back, we had the lead, but we gave it up with five seconds left," said Setoguchi. "When you do that it's demoralizing and it's hard to come back from."
Buffalo shocked the Sharks with three first-period tallies to start the game. Adam Mair tipped home a Rivet shot from the point past a screening Drew Stafford for the game's first score. Stafford then screened off a blast by Jaroslav Spacek that resulted in a power-play goal at 8:53.
A Thornton turnover in the neutral zone led to the Sabres' third goal as Roy snapped off a wrister from the right circle that beat Nabokov stick-side.
Marleau was able to stop the bleeding with a quick wrist shot from the left point through a Thornton screen for a power-play goal with 1:43 left in the period.
Buffalo, though, started the middle stanza in similar fashion as a Kotalik power-play score made it 4-1 at 8:27.
Marleau's second goal of the night made it a two-goal game a little over a minute later, scoring off a feed from Thornton in front, and Boyle closed the gap to 4-3 with 52 seconds left with a great individual effort. He fended off a Sabres' defender at the left circle before getting off a quick shot over the glove of Miller.
Buffalo is 4-1 with a tie in the last six meetings with the Sharks and recorded a 7-1 blowout victory in San Jose last season. The Sharks last played in Buffalo on December 2, 2005 when they notched a 5-0 win. Prior to that victory, San Jose had lost 11 straight in Buffalo...The Sabres have won six of the last seven at HSBC Arena and moved to 16-10-2 as the host this year...The Sharks placed center Marcel Goc on injured reserve, while the Sabres activated defenseman Andrej Sekera from injured reserve.
02/14 01:42:44 ET