Recap: Sabres Shock Sharks in Thrilling Comeback Win

Tonight looked like it would be a difficult task for the Buffalo Sabres. They were coming off playing in New Jersey last night, while the San Jose Sharks were in Buffalo waiting. The first 40 minutes of the game went as you might have expected. The Sharks were the far superior team and got up to a three-goal lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.

Then the game took a drastic twist in the final 20 minutes. The Sabres finally started to skate and test the Sharks defense. In a matter of just over three minutes, they erased a three-goal deficit. Then topped it all off with a goal in overtime to finish the come from behind victory and continue the domination over the Sharks. This is a game the Sabres hope will spring them into a winning streak and back into the playoff conversation.

First Period

The Sabres got off to a good start in this one. The breakouts were a lot cleaner than they were in the previous game against the New Jersey Devils. It allowed them to have speed through the neutral zone and challenge the Sharks defenders.

The Sharks, however, did appear to score the opening goal of the game. Timo Meier put one by Anders Nilsson just as the referee blew the whistle when he lost sight of the puck. After a review, it was determined the official intended to blow the whistle and the goal didn’t count.

The Sabres would get a power play just a few minutes later and Matt Moulson would end up scoring his 11th of the season on a nice passing play. From that point on the Sharks took over the period. Joel Ward deflected a Brent Burns shot past Nilsson for his sixth of the season to tie the game at one. Then a little over three minutes later Logan Couture scored his 19th of the season on a rebound that Nilsson was unable to hold onto.

Second Period

San Jose continued their control of the game throughout the second period. They peppered the Sabres goaltender throughout the second stanza and limited the scoring chances for the home team. The fatigue of playing the night before was pretty evident in the second period for Buffalo. They didn’t have the legs to keep up with the Sharks cycle in the offensive zone, allowing them to maintain possession for a good portion of the period.

Melker Karlsson scored his seventh of the season after he was left alone in the slot to make it 3-1 for the visitors. The Sabres put some pressure on at the end of the period but were unable to get one on the board. After 40 minutes the Sharks had a 31-18 lead in shots on goal.

Third Period

Just over five minutes into the third period the Sharks appeared to put the icing on the cake as Joe Pavelski scored his 18th on the power play to make it 4-1. The road team dominated the game and Sabres showed no inclination that they were going to make any noise in the final ten minutes.

Then Brent Bruns takes what seemed like a harmless hooking call at the 8:21 mark of the period. Ryan O’Reilly would end up scoring his 11th of the season off of a nice pass from Jack Eichel. The Sabres had some life at 4-2. Still, they had a long road to go. Just over two minutes later Evander Kane made things interesting with his 15th of the season on a wraparound to make it 4-3.

All of a sudden the Sharks were on the ropes as the Sabres pushed hard. Less than a minute after the Kane goal, Sam Reinhart threw a nice pass across to Kyle Okposo who scored his 17th to tie the game at 4-4. In less than three minutes Buffalo erased a three-goal Sharks’ lead. A furious comeback after being dominated for 40 minutes earned the Sabres at the very least one point as the teams headed to overtime.


The Sabres had the better of the chances in the overtime. It didn’t take long for them to complete the comeback as Eichel and Kane took off on a two-on-one rush that was finished off by Kane for his second of the game and 16th of the season. It was an extremely impressive win by the Sabres when the game appeared to be over. They continued a trend they’ve had all season of never going away in a game and added another come from behind win to their record.


Scoring Summary


BUF – Matt Moulson PPG (11) assisted by Brian Gionta and Tyler Ennis

SJ – Joel Ward (6) assisted by Brent Burns and Paul Martin

SJ – Logan Couture (19) assisted by Mikkel Boedker and Marc-Edouard Vlasic


SJ – Melker Karlsson (7) assisted by Marcus Sorenson and Micheal Haley


SJ – Joe Pavelski PPG (18) assisted by Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau

BUF – Ryan O’Reilly PPG (11) assisted by Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen

BUF – Evander Kane (15) assisted by Cody Franson and Brian Gionta

BUF – Kyle Okposo (17) assisted by Sam Reinhart and Ryan O’Reilly


BUF – Evander Kane (16) assisted by Jack Eichel

  THW Three Stars

First: Evander Kane (2 goals, GWG)

Second: Jack Eichel (2 assists)

Third: Brent Burns (2 assists)

Next Up

Anaheim Ducks at Buffalo Sabres

Key Bank Center – 7:00 p.m. EST (Thursday, Feb. 9)

Broadcast channels: MSG-B

2016-17 Season Series: None

Next Up

San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins

TD Garden – 7:00 p.m. EST (Thursday, Feb. 9)

Broadcast channel: NESN & CSN-CA

2016-17 Season Series: None