NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Buffalo
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: Buffalo 2, San Jose 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Daniel Briere's two goals was all the offense his team needed as the Buffalo Sabres skated past the San Jose Sharks, 2-1, at HSBC Arena.
Martin Biron turned aside 27 shots for the Sabres, who have won five of their last six contests. Biron won for just the second time this year when his teammates have suppled two goals or fewer (2-9-3).
Mike Ricci tallied the lone goal for San Jose, which has lost all 11 meetings in Buffalo since coming into the league. Evgeni Nabokov, coming off back-to- back shutouts, made 33 saves in goal as the Sharks fell for the first time in three games (2-1-0).
Briere's second goal of the night came just 44 seconds into the third frame as he capitalized on a bad turnover by Sharks defenseman Tom Preissing, who tried to pass the puck towards the middle in his own zone rather than up the boards. The disc tipped off the stick of J.P. Dumont and right to Briere, who fired a slapper over the glove of Nabokov from the left hash.
"The puck was kind of rolling and he ripped it over my shoulder," said Nabokov.
Briere, clearly the best player on the ice in his first game as Sabres captain for the month of February, also had several other chances to score, including two golden opportunities for a hat trick in the final period. He was stopped on the doorstep by a sprawling toe save by Nabokov early on. With six minutes remaining, Nabokov stoned Briere on a 2-on-1 rush, foiling a bid for his first trick of the season.
"Hopefully it will be like that every night," said Briere. "It's a great feeling right now."
Ricci started the scoring with his first goal in 33 games 8:41 into the opening stanza. He skated across the slot and tried to slide the puck over to Jonathan Cheechoo, but it deflected off a defender's skate and into the open cage for Ricci's fifth tally of the year.
Briere evened the contest a little less than six minutes later with his 17th marker of the season. On a wrist shot from the point by Miroslav Satan, Chris Drury gathered the rebound in the slot and flipped a backhand pass to an uncovered Briere at the side of the net for the easy putaway.
The scoreless second period was highlighted by a series of saves by Nabokov, who dove across his crease to make a sprawling glove stop on a second-chance opportunity by Dmitri Kalinin near the five-minute mark of the period. Nabokov finished the second with eight saves compared to the 12 stops by Biron at the other end.
At the end of the game, San Jose's Nils Ekman received a match penalty for intent to injure after he whacked Kalinin with a two-handed slash in retaliation for taking a high-stick to the face from the Buffalo blueline.
In the last 19 meetings between Buffalo and San Jose, the home club is 15-0-4...The Sabres improved to 8-2-2 in their last 12 home tilts...The Sharks are a mere 1-6-1 on Tuesdays this season...Prior to Briere's power-play goal, San Jose had allowed just 12 tallies in its last 147 penalty kills.
02/11 00:47:28 ET