The San Jose Sharks couldn't come up with another epic comeback.
One night after San Jose overcome a three-goal third-period deficit for the first time in franchise history, Buffalo's Cody McCormick and Paul Gaustad made sure they wouldn't come up with another miracle rally. Gaustad had 2 goals and an assist, while McCormick had a goal and two assists as the Sabres beat the Sharks 6-3 at HSBC Arena.
McCormick's goal 31 seconds into the third period, set up by Gaustad, made it 4-2 after the Sharks turned a 3-0 deficit into a one-goal game on late second-period goals by Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
"Between periods we were talking about staying with our game and not panicking," McCormick said. "There wasn't any doubt that we could keep that lead, and we just brought that attitude into the third."
Douglas Murray made it 4-3 midway through the third period, but an empty-netter by Gaustad with 27 seconds left and Vanek's second of the night with 8.7 seconds left put the game away.
"We got six and we could have had more," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said.
Gaustad didn't know the Sharks had staged a third-period comeback from a 4-1 deficit on Wednesday in Philadelphia.
"I wasn't paying attention to it," he said. "They have a lot of scoring power, but I think it was just us playing our game. That was the thing. Just staying confident and not worrying about what they're going to do, but focusing on our game."
Jason Pominville also scored for Buffalo, which has won four of six. The Sabres are 14-1 at home against the Sharks.
"Is there a reason why every time they play here we do well? I don't know," Pominville said. "I just think we were prepared and focused and ready to do what we had to do to win the game."
Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the Sharks, who went 3-2-0 on a five-game road trip.
"It was too much for us to overcome," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "You can see signs of character and determination, but on the other hand there are those moments where we aren't there yet."
Gaustad gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with his second of the season with 7:42 remaining in the first period. Off the faceoff in the left circle, McCormick's shot went in off Gaustad's stick.
Vanek made it 2-0 with his team-leading 12th goal at 6:48 of the second by one-timing Derek Roy's behind-the-back pass from below the goal line into the slot between Niemi's legs.
Pominville made it 3-0 with a shorthanded goal with 6:34 remaining in the second, scoring on a breakaway after San Jose defenseman Jason Demers whiffed on a pass at the Buffalo blue line.
But the Sharks refused to roll over.
Couture started the surge with his team-leading 14th of the season on the power play. Vlasic's wrist shot from the slot made it a one-goal game with 45 seconds remaining in the period.
"We didn't play well again, simple as that," Couture said. "We made too many mistakes in our own end and didn't generate enough offense."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report
|Paul Gaustad (2) ASST: Cody McCormick (4)|
1 - 0 BUF
|Thomas Vanek (12) ASST: Derek Roy (18), Nathan Gerbe (4)|
2 - 0 BUF
|SHG - Jason Pominville (3) ASST: NONE|
3 - 0 BUF
|PPG - Logan Couture (14) ASST: Dan Boyle (17), Ryane Clowe (19)|
3 - 1 BUF
|Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1) ASST: Logan Couture (7), Ryane Clowe (20)|
3 - 2 BUF
|Cody McCormick (4) ASST: Paul Gaustad (6)|
4 - 2 BUF
|Douglas Murray (1) ASST: Torrey Mitchell (4)|
4 - 3 BUF
|EN - Paul Gaustad (3) ASST: Cody McCormick (5), Andrej Sekera (5)|
5 - 3 BUF
|Thomas Vanek (13) ASST: Derek Roy (19), Nathan Gerbe (5)|
6 - 3 BUF
|Mike Weber Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Joe Thornton Holding against Nathan Gerbe|
|Luke Adam Hi-sticking against Niclas Wallin|
|Tyler Ennis Too many men on the ice|