In their two wins against the Sharks this season, the Sabres have outscored San Jose a combined 6-2, including a 4-1 win at First Niagara Center on Tuesday night.
In their other 17 games, Buffalo is a combined minus-40.
For the second time in less than a month, the Sharks were embarrassed by not only the worst team in the NHL this season, but – with all due respect to some recent Edmonton teams – probably one of the most dreadful clubs in the past decade.
[REWIND: Sharks falter in third, fall to Sabres 2-1]
All of the scoring, other than a late empty net goal, came in the second period.
Nicolas Deslauriers got it started. On a two-on-two rush, Cody McCormick directed a shot towards the net that hit Mirco Mueller's skate. The puck went right to the stick of Deslauriers, who deposited his second goal of the season – both against the Sharks – at 5:25 of the middle frame.
The Sharks tied it on the power play. Joe Thornton teed up Brent Burns in the high slot, and a rocket to the top corner midway through regulation ended a streak of four straight games without a power play goal for San Jose. The marker came shortly after Patrick Marleau appeared to get away with a hook on a Torrey Mitchell breakaway.
Instead of gaining the momentum and putting their foot on the throat of a weaker opponent, though, some poor play by the third defense pair ruined any chance of the Sharks concluding their road trip with a winning record.
First, Jason Demers backed off of Mitchell, who was bringing the puck into the offensive zone. The former Sharks forward fed Brian Gionta cutting to the net, and Gionta found space past Troy Grosenick and inside the far post for his first of the season at 11:54.
Demers was on the ice for the Sabres’ third goal, too, which came on a two-on-one after Matt Irwin was caught in deep. Gionta passed through Demers to Brian Flynn on a goal that came with less than 12 seconds to go before the second intermission.
Each team had a goal waved off in the first period. Tyler Ennis clearly ran over Grosenick for a goalie interference minor at 12:29 that negated a Zemgus Girgensons goal for an easy call.
Justin Braun thought he had a goal soon after that, as he chopped in a Matt Nieto rebound. It was curiously overturned even though it appeared that it was Ennis who ran into his own goalie, Michal Neuvirth, who had to leave after the first period with a lower body injury most likely due to that entanglement.
Training 3-1 late, the Sharks appeared to get back to within one with 4:44 left, when Marleau’s backhander squeezed through Jhonas Enroth after a slick pass through the slot from Barclay Goodrow. At the last moment, though, Matt Moulson swept the puck out just before it completely crossed the line.
Gionta, who had with three points, finished the game off with his second goal after Grosenick was pulled for an extra attacker at 19:18 to cap the scoring.
The Sabres earned just their third regulation win, with two of them coming against San Jose, including a 2-1 triumph at SAP Center on Oct. 25.
The Sabres have won eight straight against the Sharks, and are 16-1-0 against San Jose all-time in Buffalo.
The crowd was estimated at 6,200, due to a snowstorm that hit the Buffalo area.
Burns’ goal ended an 0-for-11 streak by the San Jose power play. The Sharks finished 1-for-4.
Buffalo was 0-for-2. The Sharks have killed off 14 of 15 opponent power plays over their last six games.
Grosenick was making his second straight start after his 45-save shutout on Sunday in Carolina in his NHL debut. He took the loss with 10 saves on just 13 shots.
Neuvirth made 10 first period saves before he had to leave the game. In relief, Enroth earned the win with 19 saves on 20 shots.
Matt Nieto returned after he was too banged up to play in Carolina on Sunday. He replaced Tye McGinn.
Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was unable to make the game due to the snowstorm.
The Sharks will begin a stretch of 11 of 13 games at home, including six straight, when they host the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Florida beat San Jose on Nov. 11, 4-1.
Overall, 20 of the next 31 games San Jose will be as SAP Center.