Sharks top Sabres 3-2 on Logan Couture’s late goal
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Logan Couture finished off a successful road trip for the San Jose Sharks in a comeback victory.
Couture’s goal with 3:52 remaining in the third period Saturday sent the Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Joonas Donskoi and Chris Tierney also scored to back goalie Aaron Dell, who made 30 saves. San Jose went 3-2-0 on a five-game trip and got its first regulation win in Buffalo since Dec. 2, 2005.
“We’ll take six (points). We wanted eight,” Couture said. “There was a couple games that we lost that were winnable games. But I think we were chasing it, but we were happy to finish it with a win.”
Couture scored the winner on a wrist shot from the left circle that went over Robin Lehner’s shoulder. It was his eighth of the year and fifth on the road trip.
“Big-time goal,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “He’s been doing that all for us. We need a big year out of him and he’s delivering so far.”
Tierney had made it 2-2 with 11.6 seconds left in the second period, scoring from the edge of the crease on a rebound from Melker Karlsson’s shot.
Ryan O’Reilly and Jason Pominville had goal for the Sabres, and Lehner stopped 28 shots. Buffalo has lost two straight and is 1-3-1 at home.
“We did a lot of good things. That’s the frustrating part,” Pominville said. “We competed. We got some looks. When you’re on a roll and you’re winning a lot of games, a game like today is probably a game that you find a way to win.”
Eichel showed his frustration afterward, snapping his stick over his knee while walking to the locker room.
“It’s a tough one to swallow at the end of the day,” Eichel said.
Donskoi scored 9 seconds after skating out of the penalty box to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead 9:12 into the game. Donskoi got a breakaway after Sabres defenseman Matt Tennyson missed a pass at the blue line, and beat Lehner with a wrist shot to the top corner for his third of the season.
The Sabres appeared to tie it late in the first period, but Eichel’s goal was disallowed after the Sharks challenged for goaltender interference. Replays showed that Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart skated through the crease and made contact with Dell’s blocker before Eichel shot.
“If Sam is outside the blue paint, I think that call goes goes in a different direction,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “I thought he had time to reset. But since the initial contact came within the paint, they definitely had an argument.”
Buffalo evened the score on O’Reilly’s power-play goal 2:55 into the second period. Kyle Okposo set up O’Reilly for his fourth of the year on a slap shot from the left circle. The goal ended a streak of 21 straight penalties killed for the Sharks.
Pominville scored his sixth to put the Sabres ahead 2-1 with 5:09 left in the second period. Eichel chipped the puck back to the high slot, where Pominville wristed a shot between Dell’s blocker and the near post.
NOTES: Sharks C Joe Thornton had a five-game point streak end. He entered the game tied with Jari Kurri for 20th on the NHL’s career points list with 1,398. ... Sabres D Justin Falk did not play but is nearing a return, Housley said. Falk sustained an undisclosed injury at the end of training camp. ... The Sharks went 0 for 3 on the power play and are now 2 for 19 in road games this season. ... San Jose has played nine of its first 10 games agains Eastern Conference opponents. ... Sabres star Eichel turned 21 on Saturday.
Sharks: Host Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Sabres: At Arizona on Thursday night.