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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Paul Gaustad had two goals and an assist, Thomas Vanek scored twice, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves to help lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Cody McCormick had a goal and two assists, and Jason Pominville also scored for Buffalo, which has won four of six. The Sabres are 14-1 at home against the Sharks.

Rookie center Logan Couture had a goal and assist, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Douglas Murray also scored for San Jose. ...more.

After a 3-0 lead quickly shrank to a 3-2 margin late in the second period, Cody McCormick and Paul Gaustad teamed up for the second time in the game and put Buffalo back up by two just 31 seconds into the third period.  Sharks goalie Antti Niemi cleared the puck to Patrick Marleau along the right wing boards, but Gaustad quickly moved in and stole the puck.  He found McCormick at the top of the crease, and McCormick finished the opportunity with a shot over Niemi’s glove hand.  The goal gave Buffalo a 4-2 lead and proved to be the game-winner. 

Paul Gaustad entered the game with just one point in his last 14 games but erupted for a season-high three points to lead Buffalo to a 6-3 win over the Sharks.  With two goals and an assist, Gaustad notched his first three-point game since 2006.  In addition to his offensive production, Gaustad also won six of nine faceoff attempts, logged 16:26 of ice time, took four shots on goal and was a +3 on the night. 
In between (the second and third) periods we were just talking about staying to our game, not panicking. There wasn’t any doubt that we could keep that lead and we just brought that into the third. - Cody McCormick

- With tonight’s win, the Sabres have now earned seven out of eight points over their last four games, with the only blemish coming in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Boston.

- Gaustad (2-1-3) and McCormick (1-2-3) each finished with three points on the night.  Thomas Vanek (2-0-2), Derek Roy (0-2-2) and Nathan Gerbe (0-2-2) also had multi-point games.

- Vanek scored his team-leading 12th and 13th goals of the season and has now scored in three of the last four games.  In the one game of that stretch where he did not score, he netted the shootout-winner in a 1-0 victory over Ottawa last Saturday.

- Tyler Myers finished with a career-high +5 rating.

- Tonight’s win improved Buffalo’s all-time home record vs. San Jose to 14-1-0.
- Buffalo’s six-goal output equaled it season-high for goals in a game and marked the most goals they have scored in a home game this year.

- Buffalo’s first goal was originally credited to Cody McCormick but later awarded to Paul Gaustad for his second of the season.  McCormick picked up the lone assist on the goal.

- San Jose’s first goal was scored by Logan Couture on the power play with Tyler Ennis in the penalty box serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice.  Couture recorded a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to five games.

- Defensemen Craig Rivet and Shaone Morrisonn and forward Drew Stafford were scratched for Buffalo.  Lindy Ruff said this morning that Morrisonn is suffering from “concussion-like symptoms” as a result of a hit to the head from Columbus’ Jared Boll last Friday and will be out for an unspecified amount of time.  Stafford, meanwhile, is day-to-day with an upper body injury.  Tim Connolly (groin) and Rob Niedermayer (knee) were also out with injuries.  

- Defensemen Kent Huskins and Derek Joslin were scratched for the Sharks.

Sidney Crosby and the streaking Pittsburgh Penguins will make their second and final appearance of the season in Buffalo on Saturday.  The Penguins are riding an 11-game winning streak, which includes a 1-0 win over the Sabres on Nov. 24 in the only other meeting between the teams this season.  Leading Pittsburgh’s surge is Crosby, who will bring a 17-game point streak to Buffalo.  During that stretch, Crosby is averaging more than two points per game with 20 goals and 15 assists for 35 points.  For the season, he leads the NHL in scoring with 50 points (26-24-50) in just 30 games.

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