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Sharks fall to dish rag Sabres
Miller and Ott trade fails to subdue Buffalo
2/28/14 - By Mike Lee -

The euphoria from Thursday night's big win in Philadelphia was abruptly tossed in the trash on Friday night as the Sharks dropped a 4-2 decision to the league's dish rag. 24 hours after San Jose pasted the Flyers, they rolled into Buffalo and laid an egg. Buffalo won their third straight game for the first time this season, and swept the season series with San Jose. Another 3rd period collapse cost the Sharks, who failed to gain ground on the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks.

* Buffalo had every excuse to pack it in on Friday night. The team traded long-time goaltender Ryan Miller and team captain Steve Ott hours before the opening faceoff. The blockbuster deal, which will bring netminder Jaroslav Halak and Chris Smith along with a 1st round draft pick to Western New York from the St Louis Blues should have left the Sabres in a state of shock. They had just lost their captain and inspirational leader in Miller. Instead, they took advantage of a Sharks lineup that was unprepared and lethargic.

* Tyler Kennedy aided the Sabres by taking a holding penalty on Henrik Tallinder midway through the opening period. The Sharks penalty kill faltered when goaltender Antti Niemi let a Cody Hodgson shot from the left circle slip past him. Hodgson faked a pass as he faced the net, before sweeping a shot from 18 feet out. Niemi got a piece of the shot, but couldn't stop it from pushing past him for the 1-0 Sabreas lead.

* James Sheppard finally made an appearance on the box score, scoring just his 2nd goal of the season 9:38 into the 2nd period. Sheppard was hanging out around the net when a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot deflected off the end boards and kicking out to the right side of the net where Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth failed to control it. Sheppard stabbed at the puck with his stick as two Sabres defenders collapsed on him, pushing the puck between Enroth's pads to tie the game at 1-1.

* Antti Niemi's inconsistency continued to haunt the Sharks early in the 3rd period. The Sharks netminder was simply a bystander on the next goal, which came via a Brian Flynn shot at 4:33 of the period.

* The Sharks defense was responsible for Buffalo's next tally, as all five white sweaters simply stopped skating and watched the Sabres move the puck around San Jose's zone before Tyler Myers found Matt Moulson cutting down the slot with Tommy Wingels trailing. Moulson snapped a shot past Niemi to make it 3-1 at 7:39 of the period and essentially ending the game.

* The Sharks were forced to pull Niemi with 1:22 left in regulation. The extra attacker helped San Jose cut the Sabres lead to 3-2 with 21 seconds left in the contest. Patrick Marleau pushed a shot from the slot past Enroth after Joe Thornton setup the goal with a feed from the right corner.

* The comeback was dashed when Tyler Myers scored an empty-net goal from the red line.

* Raffi Torres was given the night off, after making his season debut in Philadelphia the night before. Torres returned from knee surgery.

* Brent Burns continues to be befuddled with the puck. The converted defenseman has struggled to put the puck in the net, even though he has the luxury of skating with Thornton game after game. The big forward has scored two goals since January 1st.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
BUF 1 0 3 4
1st period - 1, BUF, Hodgson 15 (Myers, Ehrhoff), 10:59, (pp).
2nd period - 2, SJ, Sheppard 2 (Vlasic, Boyle), 9:38.
3rd period - 3, BUF, Flynn 6 (Girgenson), 4:33. 4, BUF, Moulson 17 (Myers, Weber), 7:39. 6, BUF, Myers 8 (D'Agostini), 19:39, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Kennedy, SJ (holding), 9:20; Foligno, BUF (tripping), 15:36.
2nd period - Sulzer, BUF (tripping), 15:39.
3rd period - Desjardins, SJ (tripping), 8:21. 5, SJ, Marleau 24 (Thornton, Boyle), 18:45
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 19 16
SJ - empty net 1 0
BUF - Enroth 38 36
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 18 7 38
BUF 8 5 7 20
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
BUF 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Jhonas Enroth
Brian Flynn
Tyler Myers
Attendence
19,070
Officials
Referees: O'Rourke, Pollock. Linesmen: Cvik, Amell.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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