Skinner scores game-winner, Sabres beat Sharks 4-2
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jeff Skinner scored the game-winning goal, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Saturday night.
Sabres forward Dylan Cozens extended his goal streak to three. Alex Tuch and Owen Power also scored for Buffalo. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 33 saves for his 14th win of the season.
“I think (Luukkonen) obviously kept us in (the game) early. He made some really big saves, especially that one at the end of the first," Skinner said.
Evgeny Svechnikov and Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose, while Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves for his 12th loss this season.
“Steve (Lorentz) came to help me in the corner. The puck went low to high, and I went to the net, and luckily, I got a tip in,” Svechnikov said.
Skinner received a pass from Tage Thompson midway through the third period for his 21st goal of the season.
At 3:01 of the first period, Cozens went coast to coast and beat Kahkonen through the legs for his 20th goal this season.
“I was looking for some options, but I think they all kind of came off the bench (and) were flat-footed, so I just had to take it outside and just throw it on, and it found a way in," Cozens said.
Svechnikov deflected a shot late in the first for his sixth of the season and to tie the game at one.
Just like Cozens’ goal, Power was able to beat the Sharks netminder with a shot that went five-hole for his fourth goal of the season.
The Sharks dominated play throughout the second, outshooting the Sabres 9-2 halfway through the period. At 8:02 of the second, Erik Karlsson took a shot that rebounded off the back boards right to Barabanov to slide home.
Early in the third, Sabres forward Peyton Krebs was awarded a penalty shot but was stopped.
“(Kahkonen) played well. I’m sure he’d like to have that first goal back, but he made some big saves after that," Sharks coach David Quinn said. "He’s played very well. He’s looking like the No. 1 goalie we know he’s capable of being.”
Tuch scored his 26th goal into an empty net to ice the game in the third.
“We were much, much better the third period. We finally decided to shoot a puck, and we did not through two periods," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "We made a lot of work for ourselves because we were unwilling to shoot a puck.”
Sabres: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host the Seattle Kraken on Monday.
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Max Miller, The Associated Press