Published December 09, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Paul Gaustad had two goals and an assist, Thomas Vanek scored twice, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves to help lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
Cody McCormick had a goal and two assists, and Jason Pominville also scored for Buffalo, which has won four of six. The Sabres are 14-1 at home against the Sharks.
Rookie center Logan Couture had a goal and assist, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Douglas Murray also scored for San Jose.
Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the Sharks, who went 3-2 on a five-game road trip.
San Jose had a letdown one night after a dramatic shootout win over Philadelphia in which the Sharks overcame a three-goal, third-period deficit for the first time in franchise history.
Up by a goal after 40 minutes, Buffalo went ahead 4-2 on McCormick's fourth of the season just 31 seconds into the third period. At the doorstep, McCormick jammed home Gaustad's feed from the right circle.
Murray cut the Sharks' deficit to 4-3 with 10:34 left by firing in a slap shot from the top of the left circle.
Gaustad iced it with an empty-net goal with 27 seconds to go. Vanek made it 6-3 with his second of the game, scored with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Gaustad gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with his second of the season with 7:42 remaining in the first period. Off the faceoff in the left circle, McCormick's shot went in off Gaustad's stick.
Vanek pushed Buffalo's lead to 2-0 with his team-leading 12th goal at 6:48 of the second. After Derek Roy sent a slick behind-the-back pass from below the goal line into the slot, Vanek teed off with a one-timer that went between Niemi's legs.
Pominville made it 3-0 with a short-handed goal with 6:34 remaining in the second. At the Buffalo blue line San Jose defenseman Jason Demers whiffed on a pass before Pominville picked up the loose puck and went on a breakaway.
The Sharks cut the deficit to 3-2 after two periods with a pair of goals 3:25 apart. Couture started the surge with his team-leading 14th of the season on the power play. Vlasic's wrist shot from the slot made it a one-goal game with 45 seconds remaining in the second.
NOTES: Buffalo D Shaone Morrisonn missed his second straight game because of lingering effects from an elbow to the head from Columbus defenseman Jared Boll. ... Couture scored six times during San Jose's five-game road trip. ... Niemi faced the Sabres for the first time. ... Miller has started six straight games after missing two because of groin soreness. He is 4-1-1 during the stretch. ... Pominville has scored at least one short-handed goal in five of his six full NHL seasons. He has seven career short-handed goals.