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game recap

Couture, Dell lift Sharks past Sabres

Forward scores with 3:52 remaining, goalie makes 31 saves

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Logan Couture scored late in the third period to help the San Jose Sharks defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Couture took a pass from Tomas Hertl, and his wrist shot from the right face-off circle beat Robin Lehner high to the glove side for his eighth goal and fifth in the past four games.

"I think Lehner saw me look, I think he may have moved his head a tiny bit and [with] just a small opening I was able to find it," Couture said. "I had to make my mind up, pass or shot, and I think I made the right one."

"Big-time goal," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's been doing that all year for us. We need a big year out of him and he's delivering so far."

 

[WATCH: All Sharks vs. Sabres highlights]

 

Aaron Dell made 31 saves for the Sharks (5-5-0), who ended their five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record.

It was San Jose's third win in 20 games at Buffalo (3-15-2) and its first regulation win in Buffalo since Dec. 5, 2005. They had been 1-4-2 with the win coming in a shootout.

"Tough place to win, it has been over the years for us and we knew today was going to be a tough game," DeBoer said. "They're a desperate team and we wanted to end this road trip right. We knew it wasn't going to be easy."

The Sabres (3-7-2) have lost two straight games. Lehner made 28 saves.

Video: SJS@BUF: Lehner robs Karlsson with great poke check

Joonas Donskoi gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 9:12 of the first period with a breakaway goal. Donskoi picked up a loose puck that got past Sabres defenseman Matt Tennyson after his slashing penalty expired and skated in against Lehner, beating him with a wrist shot.

Jack Eichel, who turned 21 on Saturday, had a goal overturned at 17:12 of the first period when DeBoer challenged the goal because of goalie interference. After video replay, it was determined that Sam Reinhart interfered with Dell before the puck crossed the goal line.

"I thought it was good because he recovered and it went through him," Reinhart said. "It was tough, but the way we were looking at it, we had a power play, we still had a long one."

Video: SJS@BUF: Tierney knocks down shot, sweeps it home

Ryan O'Reilly made it 1-1 at 2:55 of the second period with a power play goal.

Jason Pominville gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead at 14:51 of the second period, taking a pass from Eichel, and took a shot that beat Dell to his blocker side for his sixth goal.

Chris Tierney tied the game 2-2 at 19:48 of the second period, putting a loose puck past Lehner at the far post after a shot by Melker Karlsson went to Tierney.

 

Goal of the game

Donskoi's breakaway goal at 9:12 of the first period.

Video: SJS@BUF: Donskoi goes bar down on a breakaway

 

Save of the game

Lehner's pad save against Donskoi at 8:49 of the second period.

Video: SJS@BUF: Lehner kicks out his pad to rob Donskoi

 

Highlight of the game

Couture's game-winning goal at 16:08 of the third period.

Video: SJS@BUF: Couture picks top corner from sharp angle

 

They said it

"I think the way we played throughout this trip we could've had eight [points]. There were a couple of them we had little breakdowns here or there. Lot of good stuff; lot of good depth, a lot of good goaltending, the PK was phenomenal and gave us a chance every night. We got six. It was a huge way to end this trip though." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski

 

"No, obviously we have a long, long way to go. That's very, very evident. It says in our record. But I think the body of work we started in San Jose, that was a turning point for us, and here we sit 3-3-1 (since then). We're still learning as a group … to win, and I believe they've taken steps in the right direction with the compete and what it takes to win in this league." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley

 

Need to know

Sharks center Joe Thornton's point streak ended at five games. ... Donskoi's goal ended Lehner's shutout streak at 100:47.

 

What's next

Sharks: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, SNO, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Couture's late goal gives Sharks 3-2 win vs. Sabres

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