Skip to main content
game recap

Sharks defeat Sabres for first victory

Meier scores game-winner, has assist; Buffalo remains winless

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- It was a night of firsts for the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

Tomas Hertl, Chris Tierney and Timo Meier each scored his first goal of the season to help the Sharks win their first game, 3-2 against the winless Buffalo Sabres.

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Sharks highlights]

 

San Jose took a 3-2 lead when Meier knocked in the rebound of a Joonas Donskoi shot at 14:30 of the second period. Donskoi had two assists for the Sharks (1-2-0), and Martin Jones made 23 saves.

"It's tough to lose the first two games, but I think it's huge to win that game tonight and we want to build off that," Meier said. "We had a good week of practice, and I think it's all about our mindset, sticking to our identity. Just go out there every night and compete and play hard."

Video: BUF@SJS: Meier slams home Donskoi's rebound

Jason Pominville had his second two-goal game of the season for the Sabres (0-3-1). Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons each had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves.

"It's frustrating," Pominville said. "We're not getting the results we want. I thought our effort was way better. But we didn't get the two points, and that's what we play for. Every little detail matters. Right now when we make a mistake, it's going in the back of our net. We have to pay more attention to those little details."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead when Hertl scored on the power play at 2:15 of the first period, tapping in Kevin Labanc's pass.

"We played great, all four lines," said Hertl, who was moved from center on the third line to left wing on the second line. "[Jones] was good. ... We had a lot of chances after big forechecks. That's how we have to play every game. I'm for sure happy for two points because it was really important for us."

Pominville scored at 12:26 of the first to tie it 1-1. He took a pass from Eichel in the slot and beat Jones with a wrist shot inside the left post.

The Sharks regained the lead less than three minutes later when Tierney took a pass from Donskoi and scored from the low slot at 15:11 to make it 2-1.

Pominville scored his second of the night from close range at 6:50 of the second period, taking a pass from Eichel on a 2-on-1 rush and beating Jones to tie it 2-2.

Video: BUF@SJS: Hertl taps home nifty power-play goal

 

Goal of the game

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer's decison to have Tierney center a new-look third line with Meier and Donskoi paid off early. Meier won a battle for the puck along the left boards, skated to the right face-off circle and passed to Donskoi below the goal line. As he headed behind the net right to left, Donskoi sent a backhand pass to Tierney at the right post for a tap-in goal.

Video: BUF@SJS: Tierney taps home Donskoi's backhand feed

 

Save of the game

The Sabres were on a 5-on-3 power play when Jones made a blocker save on Eichel's sharp-angled wrist shot from below the left circle at 10:42 of the second period. Meier scored the game-winner less than four minutes later.

Video: BUF@SJS: Jones shuts down Eichel with a sliding save

 

Highlight of the game

Eichel skated into the right circle, spun clockwise and sent a pass back to the trailing Pominville in the slot. Pominville's wrist shot got past Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon and beat Jones inside the left post.

Video: BUF@SJS: Pominville finishes pretty passing sequence

 

They said it

"I'm sick of losing. We just need more guys to be sick of losing. They were definitely desperate. We knew they were going to be a desperate team, and they dropped two eggs earlier this year. They wanted the game. Losing is getting old." -- Sabres center Jack Eichel

 

Video: BUF@SJS: Pominville, Eichel connect for great goal

 

"You drop the first two, the third one you start thinking about it a little bit. Especially opening up at home with the amount of games we have here. It's a little unusual. To get that first win was very important." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski on getting a win after losing the first two of a five-game homestand

 

Need to know

The Sharks placed defenseman Paul Martin (ankle) on injured reserve and recalled defenseman Joakim Ryan from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. Ryan had one shot on goal in 21:24 of ice time in his NHL debut. ... Sharks defenseman Tim Heed and forward Ryan Carpenter each made his season debut. ... Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges made his season debut. … Buffalo forward Kyle Okposo played after missing the morning skate because of an illness. ... Sabres forward Evander Kane played his 500th NHL game. ... Buffalo has had a player score two goals in each of its four games, two apiece from Pominville and Kane.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Meier, Tierney lead Sharks past Sabres, 3-2

View More