The win capped a franchise-changing evening for the Sabres. At 7
p.m., Buffalo traded goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to
the St. Louis Blues for goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forwards Chris
Stewart and William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a
conditional draft pick.
"It's going to be a different feeling without those two guys,"
Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. "It's just a matter of embracing
the moment and coming together as a group to try and keep pushing
forward. (This win) feels really, really good."
Myers, left winger Matt Moulson, center Brian Flynn and center Cody
Hodgson scored for the Sabres (18-34-8), who have won three
consecutive games since the Olympic break. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth
was superb between the pipes for Buffalo, making 36 saves.
"When a guy like Ryan Miller gets traded, that's not a normal player
getting traded," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "This guy has
been here for a long time, he's won a lot of games. He was the face
of the organization for a long, long time. To lose a player like
him, it's tough."
Left winger Patrick Marleau and center James Sheppard scored for the
Sharks (38-17-6), who dominated large stretches of the first two
periods but struggled to find the back of the net. San Jose goalie
Antti Niemi made 16 saves.
"It's a game, they're going to come out and play," Sharks center Joe
Pavelski said. "They get a little shake-up, get punched a little
bit, they lose a couple of really good players, they're going to
come out and play hard. That's what they did. We knew they'd be
ready. ... We had our chances to score early and we didn't, fell
behind, climbed back and just didn't turn the corner like we needed
The biggest reason for the Sharks' struggles on offense was Miller's
replacement, Enroth, who won back-to-back games for the first time
this year. The Sharks outshot Buffalo 31-13 through 40 minutes and
38-20 overall but got their only goal off a fortuitous bounce in the
Enroth did not know until shortly before game time that he would
start because of the trade. Miller was originally scheduled to start
"I was sitting in the back, joking around with the trainers about
all these trade rumors and I told them hopefully it doesn't happen
on game day, especially against the Sharks," Enroth said. "Three
minutes after, Coach Nolan came up to me and told me I was starting,
so I kinda jinxed myself there. After that, I was a bit more nervous
than usual, but I told myself I had nothing to lose."
[to top of second column]
Sharks captain Joe Thornton said, "Enroth played well. He's
quick. He really didn't give us too many second opportunities. He
stopped every shot it seemed."
Hodgson opened the scoring 11 minutes into the first period with a
high wrist shot from the left circle. It was Hodgson's 15th goal of
San Jose got on the board before the halfway point of the second
period after a fortunate bounce behind the Sabres net. Defenseman
Marc-Edouard Vlasic's long shot from the point caromed off the end
boards and went between Enroth's legs in the crease before Sheppard
tapped the puck home at 9:38.
Flynn gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead on a quick wrist shot 4:33 into the
third period after a faceoff win in the San Jose end. With a goal
and an assist in Wednesday's victory over the Boston Bruins, Flynn
has three points in his last two games.
Moulson made it 3-1 three minutes later after a pretty feed from
Myers. Myers skated past Sharks right winger Adam Burish before
threading the needle to Moulson in the slot. The forward buried a
wrist shot past Niemi to the blocker side.
Marleau cut San Jose's deficit to one with 1:15 remaining on his
24th goal of the season before Myers added an empty-net goal with
20.7 seconds left.
NOTES: C Tyler Ennis was scratched for Buffalo along with G Ryan
Miller and captain Steve Ott, who were traded to the St. Louis
Blues. ... LW Raffi Torres, D Matt Tennyson and LW Matt Nieto were
scratched for the Sharks. ... This was the second of two meetings
between the teams this season. Buffalo won 5-4 at San Jose in a
shootout Nov. 5. ... This was the 31st game all time between Buffalo
and San Jose. ... San Jose C Joe Thornton made his Sharks debut Dec.
2, 2005, at Buffalo. He also played in his 700th career game against
the Sabres on Dec. 8, 2007.
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