Jeff Skinner scored 1:41 into overtime as the Buffalo Sabres extended the NHL’s longest winning streak to 10 games with a 3-2 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Skinner tallied in the three-on-three overtime period when San Jose goalie Martin Jones came out and made a weak play on the puck. Skinner collected it and sent a backhander in for his team-leading 19th goal for the win.
The Sabres have their first 10-game winning streak since the 2006-07 season. Buffalo last lost on Nov. 4 against the New York Rangers.
The win was Buffalo’s sixth consecutive at home and broke a four-game losing skid against San Jose.
Defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nathan Beaulieu also scored for Buffalo, and Joe Pavelski scored twice for San Jose.
Skinner leads the NHL with 14 even-strength goals.
Carter Hutton made 36 saves for Buffalo to improve to 12-6-1. Jones stopped 28 shots for the Sharks, who dropped their second straight game.
In a very physical first period in the final meeting of the season between the teams — the Sharks won 5-1 in San Jose on Oct. 18 — neither club could find the net. Jones and Hutton made all the saves and faced few serious scoring threats. However, Hutton made a spectacular glove save on Marcus Sorensen’s wrister at 17:31 from in close.
The Sharks outshot Buffalo 13-7 in the penalty-free first period, but Buffalo was able to break through late in the second period on a dazzling move and score by Ristolainen.
The blue-liner took a long cross-ice feed from Tage Thompson, moved through the neutral zone and skated in on the left on his off wing. Ristolainen maneuvered the puck between his legs, blew past San Jose defenseman Brent Burns and beat Jones with a high shot on his glove side for his third goal at 14:42.
Beaulieu increased the lead to 2-0 at 4:14 of the third when he lifted a sharp pass by Sam Reinhart over Jones for his third goal, but Pavelski one-timed a blast at 11:29 on the short side to make it 2-1. Pavelski then wrapped around a power-play goal, his 15th, to tie it 2-2 at 16:42.
—Field Level Media