The Sharks’ futility in Buffalo has ended, and it took a little three-on-three overtime to make it happen.
Patrick Marleau found the rebound off a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot that hit the post at 2:59 of the extra session to give the Sharks a 2-1 win, their second straight. It was Marleau’s fifth of the season, and came after the Sharks controlled play for most of the overtime.
The Sharks (9-8-0) had not won in Buffalo since Dec. 2, 2005. It was just their second win there in franchise history (2-15-1).
San Jose has won its first two games of a six-game road trip, winning back-to-back games for the first time since they ran off four straight to start the year.
The Sharks got a rare power play goal – in more ways than one – to jump out to an early lead.
Less than two minutes into the game, Vlasic wound up from the top of the circle and found the far corner with Marleau screening goalie Chad Johnson. That snapped an 0-for-14 for San Jose over the previous six games, and was Vlasic’s first tally with a man advantage since Jan. 21, 2010.
The Sharks entered the night with the NHL’s lowest-ranked power play.
The penalty kill, including Jones, allowed the Sharks to keep that advantage through the opening frame. Despite three minor penalties and a minute-and-a-half stretch of being down two men, the Sharks maintained their lead. Jones made key stops on Tyler Ennis and Ryan O’Reilly during Buffalo’s five-on-three.
The Sharks ended a dubious eight-game streak of allowing least one first period goal-against.
Buffalo was finally able to solve Jones at 6:27 of the third period. O’Reilly let fly with a slapper from near the faceoff dot that hummed over the Sharks’ goalie’s far shoulder. It was the fifth goal for the former Avalanche forward.
It was the only goal that Jones allowed on 31 shots. The goalie made a key stop on Jack Eichel on the doorstep in the final seconds of regulation.
The Sharks got a late power play chance after Tommy Wingels drew a roughing minor on Carlo Colaiacovo at 14:35 of the third period when Colaiacovo took exception to Wingels running over Zemgus Girgensons. The Sharks couldn’t re-take the lead despite plenty of offensive zone time.
The Sabres visit SAP Center on Feb. 26.
The Sharks finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Buffalo was 0-for-3.
San Jose has killed off all nine opponent power plays over the last four games.
For the first time in his Sharks career, Jones started on back-to-back nights after 26 saves against the Red Wings on Friday night. He posted wins on the back end in the previous two, including a shutout, stopping 66 of 67 shots overall.
It was his first career game against Buffalo.
Johnson was facing the Sharks for the first time in his career, and made 30 saves. Buffalo acquired Robin Lehner in the offseason to be its starter, but he remains out with an ankle injury.
Joe Pavelski recorded his 500th career NHL point, all with San Jose, with the primary assist on Vlasic’s goal.
Mirco Mueller drew into the lineup on defense in place of Matt Tennyson. It was Mueller’s second game as he’s spent the majority of the year in the AHL. Tennyson had played in all 16 games before Saturday.
Rookie Nikolay Goldobin did not play in the third period.
The Sharks have a couple days off before visiting the Bruins on Tuesday and Flyers on Thursday. The road trip ends next weekend with back-to-back games against the Penguins and Blue Jackets.