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game recap

Girgensons, Sabres deny Sharks fourth straight win

Forward breaks tie in third, Buffalo wraps up trip with back-to-back victories

by Ross McKeon / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Girgensons' goal breaks tie

BUF@SJS: Girgensons nets go-ahead goal for Sabres

Johan Larsson hits a teammate with a shot, but Zemgus Girgensons follows up the play and buries a quick shot to give the Sabres a 4-3 lead

  • 01:00 •

SAN JOSE -- Zemgus Girgensons broke a tie at 12:15 of the third period, and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at SAP Center on Saturday.

Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist for Buffalo (7-1-1), which won back-to-back games to wrap up a three-game road trip to California and has five victories in its past six games.

"We've stuck with it and we've played some good teams here," Johansson said. "This trip, it's never an easy trip. This is a big one."

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Sharks highlights]

 

Linus Ullmark made 29 saves for the Sabres; he and Carter Hutton have alternated starts over the past seven games.

"We're finding different ways to get things done, but tonight was really impressive how we stayed on our toes and kept playing for the big W," Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. 

Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Marcus Sorensen scored for San Jose (3-5-0), which had won three in a row. Martin Jones made 31 saves.

"Give them credit; they've got a good record for a reason," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "They're finding ways to win games and their goalie made a couple of huge saves at the right time for them, or the momentum could have shifted."

Video: BUF@SJS: Mittelstadt scores on redirection

Girgensons scored his first of the season when he found a loose puck in the slot after Johan Larsson's initial shot hit Kyle Okposo before it could reach the net.   

"We've got to manage those situations better; 3-3 with seven minutes left, we've got find a way to get points out of that game," DeBoer said.

Hertl tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal 44 seconds into the third period, but Jeff Skinner gave the Sabres a 3-2 lead at 2:28.

Sorensen tied it 22 seconds later to make it 3-3 at 2:50.

"When we score we have to take the momentum; we have to go right back into their end and take the game over," Hertl said.

Buffalo took a 2-1 lead at 17:03 of the second period when Casey Mittelstadt's redirected goal was awarded following a video review.

Johansson scored at 12:10 of the first period to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.

Meier scored his first goal of the season at 16:00 of the first to make it 1-1.

"We showed a lot of character," Johansson said. "There's no quit here. Nothing changes. We had a couple of unfortunate bounces, but we got one back. A win is all that matters."

Video: BUF@SJS: Skinner taps puck into open net

 

They said it

"It's just about constant improvement here. Anything else will just distract them from what's happening. We have so many areas where we can get better at and we find something different every day. The players are all-in, so it's fun." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

"It was a good team game. We took some penalties we probably shouldn't have taken. That kind of took the rhythm out of our game, having to kill off penalties. It was energy we missed." -- Sharks forward Timo Meier

 

Need to know

The Sabres went 0-for-4 on the power play after converting 11 of 31 opportunities in their first eight games. … Buffalo scored first for the eighth time in nine games. … Mittelstadt has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past two games. … Couture extended his point streak to six games (one goal, six assists) with an assist. … Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has an assist in four straight games and has five assists over that span. … Hertl has six points (three goals, three assists) during a three-game point streak. … Sharks defenseman Brent Burns has seven points (two goals, five assists) over his past five games. … San Jose center Noah Gregor made his NHL debut. The 21-year-old was a fourth-round pick (No. 111) at the 2016 Draft.

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Video: Girgensons, Sabres hold on to defeat Sharks

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