Evander Kane scored the game-winning goal at 1:05 of the overtime period and the San Jose Sharks opened a four-game road trip on a negative note with a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center Tuesday.
The Sharks were denied of a goal at 5:22 of the opening period as an official informed the NHL Situation Room that he blew his whistle to stop Joel Ward’s play before the puck crossed the Sabres’ goal line.
The Sabres got on the board first on Matt Moulson’s power-play goal at the 12:36 mark. After Joe Thornton was called for holding at 14:16, Moulson capitalized with the man advantage by snatching a loose puck from Brian Gionta at the goal line and knocking it into the net for his 11th goal of the season.
The Sharks, however, responded with two unanswered goals in a span of 3:10 to grab a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Shots were 17-10 in favor of San Jose.
Joel Ward set up a screen in front of the net and tipped in a shot by Brent Burns to beat Anders Nilsson for his sixth goal of the season to tie the score 1-1 at 14:03. Logan Couture then tapped home a Mikkel Boedker rebound for his 19th goal of the season to put the Sharks ahead 2-1 with 2:47 left in the period.
The Sharks’ fourth line of Marcus Sorensen, Michael Haley and Melker Karlsson worked wonders in the middle period. In his highly anticipated NHL debut, Sorensen came down the right side of the circle and blasted a wrist shot five-hole, but it was saved by Nilsson at 14:51.
Karlsson threw a slap shot into the net and it went in and off the skate of Sorensen for his seventh goal of the season, extending the Sharks’ lead to 3-1 at the 11:23 mark. Sorensen picked up his first career point while Haley collected his seventh assist of the season.
The Sharks continued their dominant play with a 3-1 lead over the Sabres after 40 minutes. Shots were 31-18 in favor of San Jose.
The Sharks capitalized with the man advantage to expand their lead to 4-1 at 13:53 of the final period. Justin Bailey went to the box at 15:08 for high sticking Paul Martin. Shortly after, Brent Burns set up Joe Pavelski, who one-timed a slap shot past Nilsson for his 18th goal of the season.
The Sabres also capitalized with the man advantage as Ryan O’Reilly scored a power-play goal as Jones was without his stick. He cut the Sharks’ lead in half with his 11th goal of the season.
The Sharks’ penalty kill was poor in the period. Karlsson grabbed Jones’ stick and threw it to him, giving the Sabres a power-play. Kane buried a wraparound to make it a one-goal game at 11:36. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer challenged Kane’s play for offsides, but the officials overturned the call and Kane scored his 15th goal of the season.
Defensive lapses caused the Sharks’ lead to disappear. Kyle Okposo picked up a pass from Sam Reinhart and fired it into the net for his 17th goal of the season, tying the score 4-4 at 12:31.
The back-and-forth game headed into overtime as the score remained in a 4-4 deadlock despite the Sharks outshooting the Sabres 40-35. Kane scored his second of the game and 16th of the season to lift Buffalo to a 5-4 win over San Jose at 1:05 of overtime.
The Sharks (33-17-3) dropped a 5-4 decision to the Sabres (21-21-10) on the road. Jones made 31 saves in a losing effort for San Jose.
Nilsson finished with 36 saves in the Buffalo victory.
Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Joakim Ryan
Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body)
The Sharks return to action Thursday when they take on the Boston Bruins (26-23-6) at TD Garden. The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST on CSCA and NESN.