Cody Hodgson felt the Buffalo Sabres were close to a breakthrough on a tough West Coast trip. Continue to work hard and good things will happen.
Hodgson and Nicolas Deslauriers each scored their first goal of the season early in the third period and the Sabres continued their dominance over San Jose, beating the Sharks 2-1 Saturday.
"I think we've had some chances," Hodgson said. "The last few games just didn't click for us. Tonight it worked out. Hard work paid off. We've been in the games. It was just nice to pull it out."
It was also nice for Hodgson to get his first goal and his second point.
"I think I was forcing a bit too much earlier," he said. "I just made sure I was calm and took my time and it worked out."
Michal Neuvirth saved 29 of 30 shots to earn his first win over the Sharks in four games and help end Buffalo's four-game losing streak and give the Sabres their second victory of the season.
"I thought we were playing better each game," Neuvirth said. "We were playing tough opponents. It's definitely hard to win in Anaheim or L.A. or even here. I think it's going to make us better in the long run."
Brent Burns scored for the Sharks, who have lost four straight. Alex Stalock stopped 13 of 15 shots.
"It's a tough stretch right now," Sharks' Matt Nieto said. "We played one of our better defensive games of the year. We had a couple of slip-ups there but you can't be perfect. We need to put more pucks to the net."
The Sabres, who were outscored 11-1 during their losing streak, won their seventh straight over the Sharks, including the past four in San Jose. The Sharks last beat Buffalo on their home ice in January 2010.
"The last three games in particular, our work ethic is improving," Sabres' coach Ted Nolan said. "As a result our play is getting better. One thing we learned, hopefully, is if you work, good things happen. That's the way we're going to have to win this season."
Following a scoreless first two periods, the Sabres and Sharks combined to score three goals within 2:27 of each other in the final period.
Hodgson took a pass from Drew Stafford, who was behind the net. Hodgson was able to tap the puck to himself for an open shot to Stalock's stick side.
A little more two minutes later, Deslauriers was in the right place to pick up a rebound and slap it past Stalock. Cody McCormick took the original shot that ricocheted off Stalock's pads to Deslauriers' stick.
Burns scored 13 seconds later after picking off a clearing pass, skating across ice and firing it through traffic from 35 feet away.
Both teams made changes to their lines, the Sabres to create offense and the Sharks to create defense. They were both successful.
The Sharks had allowed 14 goals in their previous three games.
"We did a better job of keeping them from scoring," San Jose's Tommy Wingels said. "If you give up two goals, you should win every game."
Buffalo is still looking for its first power-play goal of the season after failing on three tries against the Sharks, which included about 20 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage.
NOTES: Sharks F Erian Hayes was assigned to AHL Worchester before the game. . Hodgson has a team-best five goals against the Sharks in eight games. F Chris Stewart has three goals and seven assists in 20 games against San Jose. . Burns has recorded a point in all but two games this season.