The San Jose Sharks crushed the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 at SAP Center on Tuesday night.
The Sabres didn’t waste any time getting on the board in the Shark Tank.
Jack Eichel collected a pass from Matt Moulson and fired the puck into the net to beat Martin Jones for his 25th goal of the season. Eichel joined Pierre Turgeon as the only two NHL players to record two 20-goal seasons with the Sabres before turning 21 years old. Also, Eichel became the first Sabre since Thomas Vanek to record 20-plus goals in each of his first two NHL seasons.
Marcus Sorensen scored what appeared to be the game-tying goal midway through the period. However, the officials waived the Sharks’ goal because Brent Burns interfered with Robin Lehner in the crease as he took the puck to the net. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer challenged, but the call on the ice stood.
The Sharks outshot the Sabres 20-9 but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Sabres played quality defense, but the Sharks grabbed a 2-1 lead late in the second period.
Lehner made a couple of glove saves to prevent potential Sharks goals around the 13-minute mark.
Justin Faulk was called for holding at 9:03. The Sharks received a power play and capitalized on the man advantage to tie the game 1-1 less than a minute later. Logan Couture sent a pass to Joe Pavelski, who fired it into the net for his 27th goal of the season.
Michael Haley scored an unassisted goal for his second goal of the season, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead with 49.4 seconds left in the period.
“We got a few bounces today that we needed,” Haley said.
The Sharks outshot the Sabres 36-14 and brought a 2-1 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.
Pavelski kept the Sharks offense alive in the third period. He picked up a long-range pass from Jannik Hansen from the circle and stuffed the puck past Sabres defensers for his second of the game and 28th of the season. The Sharks extended their lead to 3-1 at 14:32.
“It’s important we stuck with our lines,” Pavelski said. “And every line was getting a chance to play for some ice time.”
Couture scored off a bounce for his 24th goal of the season to expand the Sharks’ lead to 4-1 with 5:03 left in regulation.
The Sharks (42-20-7) beat the Sabres (28-30-12) 4-1 to snap their five-game home losing skid.
With the win, the Sharks continue to lead the Pacific Division. Jones finished with 22 saves for San Jose.
“All of these wins are important,” Jones told the media members.
Meanwhile, the Sabres remain second-to-last in the Atlantic Division. Lehner made 37 saves in a losing effort for Buffalo.
“I think we were determined to win this game regardless of whether we got bounces or not,” DeBoer said in his postgame press conference. “We had one goal taken away, but we didn’t win because of a bounce or two. We ended up being the better team. We made history tonight.”
Scratched: Tim Heed, Ryan Carpenter
Injured: David Schlemko (lower body), Melker Karlsson (lower body)
Couture played in his 498th career game. He has scored nine points in his last eight games.
The Sharks return to action Saturday night when they host the Anaheim Ducks (36-23-10) at 7:30 p.m. PST on CSCA, PT25.