SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – The San Jose Sharks felt some urgency going into Thursday night, and they responded.
Timo Meier scored late in the second period, lifting the Sharks over Jason Pominville and the Buffalo Sabres 3-2.
The Sharks were winless after two lackluster home games to start the season.
“You drop the first two, the third one you start thinking about it a little bit, especially opening up at home with the amount of games that we have here, it’s a little unusual,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said.
“To get that first win was very important.”
Pominville scored twice for the Sabres, who dropped to 0-2-1 to begin coach Phil Housley’s first season.
Martin Jones made 23 saves, holding strong after Meier’s tiebreaking goal at 14:30 of the second. Meier knocked in a far-side shot for his first goal of the season.
San Jose’s Tomas Hertl opened the scoring during a power play at 2:15 of the first. Hertl flicked his first of the year past goalie Robin Lehner.
“We wanted to get the first goal,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’ve been playing from behind a lot this season it seems most games. We wanted to get out early and feel good about ourselves. We played out front most of the night tonight, which was a big difference.”
After Pominville tied it, Chris Tierney scored with 4:49 left in the first period, poking in a shot between Lehner and the right post off a behind-the-back pass from Joonas Donskoi.
“I’ve seen him do it a couple times on practice, so I had a feeling that something tricky was coming when he gets the puck with that much time behind the net,” Tierney said. “All I had to do was put my stick on the ice and tap it in.”
Pominville scored his second goal at 6:50 of the second, burying one at the end of a 2-on-1 break with Jack Eichel.
The Sabres blew a great scoring chance midway through second in a 2-2 game, failing to capitalize on overlapping tripping penalties on Justin Braun and Brent Burns that left them with a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds.
“It’s frustrating we’re not getting the results we want,” Pominville said. “I thought our effort was way better, but at the of the game we didn’t get the two points and that’s what we play for.”
Going into Thursday, the Sabres were 8-1-1 in their last 10 games against the Sharks. Buffalo is 24-8-6 all-time against San Jose.
NOTES: Lehner had 23 saves. … Sabres F Evander Kane played in his 500th career game. … The Sharks placed D Paul Martin on injured reserved (ankle) and called up D Joakim Ryan from the San Jose Barracuda. Ryan made his NHL debut.
Sabres: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Sharks: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
More AP hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)