Sabers 5, Sharks 4 (SO)

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks went past regulation for a third straight game, and have yet to find a way to win.
Buffalo forward Cody Hodgson beat Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi in the fourth round of the shootout to give the lowly Sabres a 5-4 win in the shootout over San Jose on Tuesday.
Buffalo jumped out to a 3-1 lead when right winger Tyler Ennis needed only 15 seconds to convert the Sabres' first power play of the game 80 seconds into the third period.
But the Sharks struck back to tie it with goals 70 seconds apart. First right winger Tyler Kennedy slipped a backhand shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller at 3:19, then rookie left winger Tomas Hertl scored on a wraparound at 4:29 to make it 3-3.
Buffalo went ahead at the 7:28 mark when it scored a fourth goal in a game for the first time as defenseman Henrik Tallinder blasted a shot through Niemi.
The Sharks tied it again at 16:14, just three seconds after a fourth failed power play expired, when right winger Tommy Wingels dove into the crease to chip a loose puck into the open goal.
San Jose's sloppiness early in the second period gift-wrapped a pair of goals for the Sabres, who took a 2-1 lead before the six-minute mark.
A defensive-zone turnover resulted in Buffalo right winger Drew Stafford shooting through Niemi's five-hole for his second goal of the season at 2:36. Niemi was victimized again between the pads at 5:53 when Buffalo center Cody McCormick fired a loose puck from the left circle after San Jose center Andrew Desjardins lost a defensive-zone draw to center Zemgus Girgensons.
The Sharks did nothing with their first two power plays -- one in each period. San Jose didn't manage a shot on either advantage, but Wingels did hit the crossbar where it meets the post on a nice turnaround move in close late in the second power play.
San Jose was effective yet unlucky on power play No. 3, a late second-period chance following center Johan Larsson's high stick of center Logan Couture.
Miller spread wide to deny San Jose center Patrick Marleau with the left pad early in the power play, and stopped Couture with the right pad and skate late. San Jose had five shots on the power play.
San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart saved Niemi in the final minute by blocking a Stafford drive after the goalie gave up the puck and was far from his vacant net.
The trend of success and failure in opening periods continued for the Shark and Sabres, respectively. San Jose scored the only goal of the opening session to improve its first-period goal superiority over opponents to 20-8 while Buffalo's first-period log fell to 21 goals allowed against only two scored.
San Jose right winger Marty Havlat scored his first of the year in his third game back from injury to cap a long cycle in the Buffalo end. Havlat's backhand shot in close slipped under Miller at 8:48 after he stopped three shots during the hosts' extended stay in the offensive zone.
The goal snapped Miller's personal shutout streak of 139:22 against the Sharks, a stretch of scoreless hockey that included 88 straight saves.
Recent addition right winger Mike Brown didn't wait long to introduce himself to the home fans, engaging McCormick in a spirited fight 85 seconds after the opening faceoff.
NOTES: San Jose RW Brent Burns missed his seventh straight game due to facial injuries sustained Oct. 19, but he joined teammates for the first time during the morning skate. "I think that's a great step -- but I don't know if we're going to qualify it as little or big," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "But he's getting closer, feeling better and back out there with his teammates." ... Buffalo continues a quick three-game all-California trip with stops in Los Angeles on Thursday and in Anaheim on Friday. ... The Sharks host Vancouver on Thursday before heading out on a season-long five-game road trip Nov. 10-17. ... The Sabres were without D Mike Weber (upper body) and LW John Scott (suspension) while C Mikhail Grigorenko and D Nikita Zadorov were healthy scratches. The Sharks have RW Raffi Torres (ACL surgery) and RW Adam Burish (back surgery) out indefinitely while LW James Sheppard and D Matt Irwin were healthy scratches.

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