On a night that the Sabres said goodbye to their longtime goaltender and captain, the team was victorious on the ice, beating the Sharks on Friday 4-2 for their third straight victory.
The game itself was almost immediately overshadowed as word started to trickle through First Niagara Center that Ryan Miller and Steve Ott were headed to St. Louis. Both players were pulled aside by Ted Nolan about an hour before the game started and didn't make it out onto the ice for warmups.
With Miller's career in Buffalo officially coming to a close, Jhonas Enroth started and won his second game in a row, turning aside 36 shots in the process. Down to only Enroth, the Sabres turned to Ryan Vinz as their backup netminder. Vinz, who played high school hockey at Lancaster and tried to walk on collegiately at Clarkson, is a current HarborCenter employee.
Cody Hodgson opened the scoring with a power play goal about halfway through the first period, but the Sharks responded in the second on James Sheppard's second of the season.
Buffalo regained the lead 4:33 into the final period on a Brian Flynn goal right off the faceoff. Zemgus Girgensons won the draw and sent the puck back to Flynn, who promptly snapped a shot past Antti Niemi's blocker.
Matt Moulson made it 3-1 a little over three minutes later with his 17th of the season. Tyler Myers put a beautiful move on Adam Burish near the blue line and slid the puck over to Moulson, who rattled home a one-timer from the slot. San Jose pulled within one late thanks to Patrick Marleau, but Myers picked up a late empty netter to seal the win.
Days after bidding farewell to a mainstay around First Niagara Center, the Sabres next prepare to visit another familiar face. Buffalo heads to Dallas to take on Lindy Ruff and the Stars on Monday. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network.
10:59 - BUF - Cody Hodgson (15) (PPG) (Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff)
9:20 - SJ - Tyler Kennedy (2 min., holding)
15:36 - BUF - Marcus Foligno (2 min., tripping)
9:38 - SJ - James Sheppard (2) (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Dan Boyle)
15:39 - BUF - Alexander Sulzer (2 min., tripping)
4:33 - BUF - Brian Flynn (6) (Zemgus Girgensons)
7:39 - BUF - Matt Moulson (17) (Tyler Myers)
18:45 - SJ - Patrick Marleau (24) (Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle)
19:39 - BUF - Tyler Myers (8) (EN) (Matt D'Agostini)
8:21 - SJ - Andrew Desjardin (2 min., kneeing)
SJ - Antti Niemi (16 saves, 19 shots)
BUF - Jhonas Enroth (36 saves, 38 saves)
SJ - 0 of 2
BUF - 1 of 2