Sharks Lose 4-3 to Red Hot Sabres

photo from sfgate.com: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark, right, reaches for the puck next to San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The Buffalo Sabres continued their hot start to the season with a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks Saturday. The win brings the Sabres record to 7-1-1. Buffalo goals came from Marcus Johansson, Casey Mittelstadt, Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Marcus Sorensen. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 31 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier said:

I think it was a good team game. We took some penalties that we probably shouldn’t have taken. It kind of took the rhythm out of our game, to kill off some penalties, and you know at the end, some energy that might miss. But overall, I think we played a pretty solid game. Like I said, too bad we didn’t come up on top but overall some stuff we can take out of this game.

Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer also thought the team played pretty well:

I liked their resiliency, I thought we battled all night. I thought our game was pretty good tonight. When I look at the seven or eight games we’ve played, that’s probably one of the better sixty minute efforts we got. Penalty kill did a good job, we got a power play goal. I thought we passed up some opportunities to shoot, you know, got a little cute around the net a few times. That might have been the difference.

The Sabres scored first at 12:10 of the first period. Henri Jokiharju carried the puck into the zone and made a drop pass to Marcus Johansson in the slot. Johansson took a shot just as Jokiharju passed in front of him. The puck went off of Jones and trickled across the line Assists went to Jokiharju and Marco Scandella.

The Sharks tied it on a power play at 16:00. With Marleau screening the goaltender, Timo Meier took a pass from Joe Thornton below the goal line. Meier’s quick shot went into the top corner for his second of the season. Assists went to Thornton and Erik Karlsson.

The Sabres took the lead back near the end of the second period when Casey Mittelstadt scored on a shot that was initially called a goal, then disallowed by the on-ice officials as being scored with a high stick. An official review reversed that reversal and called it a good goal. Assists went to Jokiharju and Jimmy Vesey.

The Sharks tied the game again 44 seconds into the third period on another power play. Erik Karlsson took a shot that went off of Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen. Tomas Hertl had taken a shot that rebounded out to Karlsson. Hertl and Evander Kane we both nearby when the puck went in but it did appear that Karlsson was the last Shark to touch it. Nevertheless, the goal went to Hertl with assists to Karlsson and Logan Couture.

Buffalo took their third lead of the game at 2:28 of the third with a goal from Jeff Skinner. Marcus Johansson tried to take a shot as he skated to the net but he didn’t get all of it and instead the puck slid slowly toward Martin Jones. Jones kicked it away but had come out too far to properly recover when puck went to his right. Skinner skated in behind him and was able to backhand the puck into the net for his fifth of the season. Assists went to Jake McCabe and Johansson.

The Sharks tied it again just 22 seconds later when Brent Burns’ blue line shot went off of Marcus Sorensen’s skate. The puck bounced over Ullmark’s leg and under his blocker.

Zemgus Girgensons scored the game winner at 12:15 of the period. Johan Larsson took a shot from above the face off circle. Martin Jones was set to stop it but it hit Kyle Okposo in the back instead of getting through to Jones. That created a rebound that Girgensons was able to pick up and shoot back in before Jones could find the puck. Assists went to Okposo and Larsson.

The Sharks will play the Sabres again in Buffalo on Tuesday at 3:30 PM PT.

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