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Buffalo forecast calls for a flurry of goals
Defense softer than a NY snow
11/18/14 - By Mike Lee -

If anything was going to save the Sharks on Tuesday night is was the weather. Limping into Buffalo for the finale of a painful 7-game road trip, the Sharks needed the blizzard that blanketed Western New York to prevent anyone from reaching the First Niagra Center. No such luck. The snow wasn't deep enough, nor was the Sharks lineup, as San Jose coasted through a 4-1 loss to the hapless Sabres.

Having won only 4 games entering play on Tuesday night, the Sabres should have been easy pickings for the Sharks, but much like their meeting earlier this season, the Sharks found a way to had two points to a team that doesn't know how to win.

Like Columbus did earlier in the trip, the Sabres completed a season sweep of San Jose, and extended their home dominance over San Jose. Buffalo has lost once at home to San Jose in 24 years. That's an unfathomable statistic given the ineptness of the Sabres the last decade, and the relative strength of San Jose. Buffalo just seems to be San Jose's Kryptonite.

Of course standing around and not playing defense will also do wonders for your loss numbers. That's pretty much what's happening on a regular basis for the Sharks these days.

After both teams had goals waved off in the opening period, Nicolas Deslauriers got things rolling for Buffalo with his 2nd tally of the season 5:25 into the 2nd frame. Deslauriers punched home a loose puck form the left side after the puck kicked off rookie defenseman Mirco Mueller's stick. Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl were caught spectating on the play, allowing Deslauriers to float in the danger zone before punching home his second goal against San Jose this season.

A Drew Stafford interference penalty setup San Jose's lone score of the night. Burns unloaded on a Joe Thornton feed from the high slot, beating goaltender Jhonas Enroth over the right shoulder. Enroth replaced starter Michal Neuvirth at the 1st intermission after Buffalo's primary goaltender suffered a lower body injury.

The tie was short-lived after Brian Gionta took advantage of Burns soft coverage on a play up the right side. Brian Flynn carried the puck up the right wing boards before feathering a pass to Gionta who had cut past Burns. The puck hit Gionta's tape for split second before the former New Jersey Devils forward lifted a shot past Troy Grosenick for this 1st goal of the season.

Gionta repaid Flynn with an assist late in the period, flipping a puck up the right wing boards past defenseman Matt Irwin to setup a 2-on-1 break. Once again Hertl was late to get back as Gionta sent a pass across the slot to Flynn, who whipped the pass past Grosenick with 11. 1seconds left in the period.

The Flynn goal was painful as it pushed a manageable deficit to one that seemed insurmountable given the Sharks penchant to be outscored in the 3rd period.

Patrick Marleau appeared to give the Sharks some hope late in the final period when his partial breakaway ended with a wrist shot that got past Enroth. The puck appeared to creep across the goal line before a Sabres skater cleared it out of the net, but a reply decision ruled that it was not a goal. Views of the replay made it difficult to determine, but game officials decided it was enough to overturn the on-ice call of a goal.

Tyler Myers was sent off on the play for hooking Marleau, setting up a power play chance that San Jose, but the nightmarish game just seemed to sway in any direction except San Jose's.

The Sharks were forced to pull Grosenick with 1:34 to play, but all that did was setup more stat padding by the Sabres. Gionta added to his line by scoring an empty-netter late to ice things.

The Sharks were scheduled to fly out of Buffalo on Tuesday night, so bad news for those that paid for Thursday night's game against the Florida Panthers. The game will go on as planned, which will give the Panthers their chance at sweeping the season series with San Jose.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
BUF 0 3 1 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, BUF, Deslauriers 2 (McCormick, Ristolainen), 5:25. 2, SJ, Burns 7 (Thornton, Couture), 10:29, (pp). 3, BUF, Gionta 1 (Flynn, Myers), 11:54. 4, BUF, Flynn 2 (Gionta, Weber), 19:48.
3rd period - 5, BUF, GIonta 2 (Myers, Meszaros), 19:18, (en).
1st period - Ennis, BUF (goaltender interference), 12:29; Burish, SJ (hooking), 16:07; Mitchell, BUF (slashing), 18:37.
2nd period - Irwin, SJ (boarding), 2:20; Wingels, SJ (roughing), 6:20; Zadorov, BUF (boarding), 6:20; Stafford, BUF (interference), 9:28.
3rd period - Myers, BUF (hooking), 15:16.
Shots Saves
SJ - Grosenick 13 10
SJ - empty net 1 0
BUF - Neuvirth 10 10
BUF - Enroth 20 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 12 8 30
BUF 3 7 4 14
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
BUF 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Brian Gionta
Brian Flynn
Torrey Mitchell
Referees: Kozari, Morton. Linesmen: Brisebois, Devorski.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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