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Sharks hang on, top Buffalo for first win

An 0-2 start to the season by the Sharks threatened to send much of the fan base into a frenzy, but San Jose bounced back Thursday night as they got out to an early lead then held on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2.

Buffalo put the Sharks on a power play within a minute of the puck dropping, and with just seconds remaining on the man-advantage, center Tomas Hertl tipped in the puck off a long wrister from winger Kevin Labanc.

Head coach Peter DeBoer emphasized the importance of scoring first:

“We played out in front tonight which was a big difference … It was really important, we talked about it before the game. We haven’t played with a lead this year. We wanted to fix that, especially being at home and it made a big difference.”

Hertl set the tone for the game, though he stressed that getting in the win column for the first time this year was more important.

“It was finally a nice game for everybody. … I’m for sure happy for two points … It was very important to us.”

The Sabres were able to counter with 7:34 left in the first period with a goal from winger Jason Pominville, but the Sharks quickly answered with a goal from center Chris Tierney.

The Sabres evened it up at 2-2 7:50 into the second period as Pominville scored his second goal of the game.

The Sharks put the Sabres on a two-man advantage just 3:33 into the second period, but the team was able to limit the damage.

Winger Timo Meier sealed the game up after finding the net off a rebound from fellow winger Joonas Donskoi. Meier said:

“I think we were working good down low, coming to the puck. … Supporting each other and just keeping it simple.”

The Sharks have two games remaining on their five-game homestead as they look to get above .500 before they set off on a five-game road trip to the East Coast.

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