NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Buffalo
(Saturday, February 13th)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, San Jose 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller made 27 saves in his final game before the Olympic break, and the Buffalo Sabres moved back into first place with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad and Jason Pominville each scored for the Sabres, who snapped a six-game losing streak and leapfrogged Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division. Miller notched his 30th win of the season right before he's slated to join Team USA for the Olympic hockey tournament that begins on Tuesday.
"It's important to win period, it doesn't matter what the timing is," Vanek said of the big win.
Kent Huskins tallied the lone goal for the Sharks, who have lost 13 of their 14 all-time games in Buffalo. Evgeni Nabokov, who will play for Team Russia in the Olympics, allowed all three goals on 28 shots in defeat.
After a scoreless first period, the Sabres tallied three times in the second to create some distance between them and the Sharks.
First it was Gaustad, who opened the scoring at 5:25. Henrik Tallinder carried the puck through the zone and down to the lower left corner. Gaustad stationed himself right next to the right post, and Tallinder sent a perfect pass across the ice for an easy tap-in.
With 7:29 left in the period, Vanek got on the board. Jochen Hecht brought the disc through the slot and slipped a pass between two defenders for Vanek, who went forehand-to-backhand right in front of the netminder for a 2-0 lead.
The Sabres further solidified their lead on Pominville's 16th goal of the season at 17:23, and Miller turned away all 12 shots in the middle 20 minutes to keep San Jose off the board.
"I just don't think we did enough. We had a few chances on the power play to take control of the game back, and it just wasn't very good at all," said Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle.
The Sharks finally cracked the scoreboard on Huskins' goal with 14:32 still to play in the game, but they wouldn't get any closer. San Jose failed to score on a late power play, and Miller stopped seven more shots to seal the win.
The teams split the season series, 1-1, and the home team has won 18 of the past 24 meetings between the clubs...San Jose finished a six-game road trip with a 4-2-0 mark...The Sharks are 21-8-2 on the road this season, while Buffalo is 19-7-6 at home...The Senators lost to Detroit on Saturday to precipitate the Sabres' rise to first place. Buffalo leads the division by one point, but Ottawa plays the Islanders Sunday with a chance to reclaim first place before the Olympic break.
02/14 00:21:44 ET