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Sharks hang on, top Buffalo for first win

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Buffalo Sabres vs
San Jose Sharks Joonas Donskoi (27) is upended by Buffalo Sabres Sam Reinhart (23) in the second period as the Buffalo Sabres take on the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

An 0-2 start to the season by the Sharks threatened to send much of the fan base into a frenzy, but San Jose bounced back Thursday night as they got out to an early lead then held on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2.

Buffalo put the Sharks on a power play within a minute of the puck dropping, and with just seconds remaining on the man-advantage, center Tomas Hertl tipped in the puck off a long wrister from winger Kevin Labanc.

Head coach Peter DeBoer emphasized the importance of scoring first:

“We played out in front tonight which was a big difference … It was really important, we talked about it before the game. We haven’t played with a lead this year. We wanted to fix that, especially being at home and it made a big difference.”

Hertl set the tone for the game, though he stressed that getting in the win column for the first time this year was more important.

“It was finally a nice game for everybody. … I’m for sure happy for two points … It was very important to us.”

The Sabres were able to counter with 7:34 left in the first period with a goal from winger Jason Pominville, but the Sharks quickly answered with a goal from center Chris Tierney.

The Sabres evened it up at 2-2 7:50 into the second period as Pominville scored his second goal of the game.

The Sharks put the Sabres on a two-man advantage just 3:33 into the second period, but the team was able to limit the damage.

Winger Timo Meier sealed the game up after finding the net off a rebound from fellow winger Joonas Donskoi. Meier said:

“I think we were working good down low, coming to the puck. … Supporting each other and just keeping it simple.”

The Sharks have two games remaining on their five-game homestead as they look to get above .500 before they set off on a five-game road trip to the East Coast.


Follow @SFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the San Jose Sharks.

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