SAN JOSE, Calif. – Ryan Miller made 36 saves, and Thomas Vanek scored his team-leading 16th goal to give coach Lindy Ruff his 500th career victory as the Buffalo Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0 Thursday night.
Ruff became the 16th NHL coach with 500 wins and joined Montreal's Toe Blake as the only ones in the club who got all their wins with one team.
Ruff reached the milestone in convincing fashion as Buffalo got goals from Luke Adam and Jochen Hecht in the first period and then stellar goaltending from Miller to sweep the two-game season series against San Jose.
The Sharks lost for the second time at home this week as their up-and-down season continues.
San Jose has dropped four of six and was booed at times by the frustrated home crowd in this game. This marked the third time this season the Sharks had been shut out at home, including twice in the past three home games. That equals their number of home shutouts from the past three seasons combined.
The Sharks got off to a sluggish start, and by the time they finally took control of the play they were already trailing 3-0 in the second.
San Jose put heavy pressure on Miller throughout the period, but he came up with a strong pad save against Benn Ferriero early and then shut down the Sharks on a late power play. The Sabres defense did a good job keeping the front of the net clear, allowing Miller good vision on San Jose's shots with the extra man.
Miller came up big again early in the third period, sliding across the net to stop a deflection from Dany Heatley on the power play to help preserve his 20th career shutout.
The Sabres used some quick passing to take a 3-0 lead earlier in the second with Dan Boyle in the penalty box for tripping. Jordan Leopold fed Drew Stafford behind the net and Stafford quickly found Vanek in the slot for a one-timer that beat Antero Niittymaki high for the goal.
It was a penalty-filled first period with both teams having three power-play chances. Neither team was able to convert with the extra man, with each team losing one chance by committing a penalty of its own.
The Sharks also had another good scoring chance thwarted when Mike Grier cleared a loose puck that trickled by Miller off the goal line midway through the first.
The Sabres converted on a 3-on-2 chance a short while later when Adam backhanded a rebound of Cody McCormick's shot past Niittymaki for his third goal of the season.
A few minutes later, Hecht won a loose puck along the boards from Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi and beat Niittymaki with a wrist shot from the slot to make it 2-0.
NOTES: Miller has three shutouts this season. ... San Jose has been shut out six times overall this season. ... Vanek's goal was Buffalo's fourth power-play goal in its last 15 road games. ... San Jose's Ryane Clowe fought with Mike Weber in the first period. ... Sharks F Joe Pavelski missed his fifth straight game with a lower body injury. ... Sharks F Torry Mitchell returned after missing five games with groin injury.