BUFFALO N.Y. (AP) — Adin Hill made 37 saves, Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks ended a two-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Matt Neito and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose, playing the third game of a four-game trip. The Sharks turned in a strong defensive performance after allowing a total of 14 goals in consecutive losses and 28 in five games.

Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres, who fell to 2-8-4 in their last 14 games. Buffalo has lost six straight at home. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 18 shots.

The Sharks raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening period, scoring all of their goals in a span of 5:03.

Nieto scored his third of the season at 12:27 of the first, finishing a feed across the crease from Andrew Cogliano after Nick Bonino won a puck battle along the boards. Meier snapped a long shot in off the far post 1:17 later for his 14th, and San Jose’s top line struck again when Hertl scored his team-leading 17th off the rush with 2:36 remaining in the period.

Skinner put the Sabres on the board 7:56 into the second period, scoring his 11th on a wrist shot from the right circle. Girgensons got his seventh off a rebound on a power play with 1:45 left in the game when the Sabres had a sixth skater on the ice after pulling Luukkonen.

Hill stopped 21 of 22 shots he faced in the third period, including a sprawling stop in the closing seconds. He recorded his first win in three starts over the last month.


Buffalo’s John Hayden and San Jose’s Jonah Gadjovich fought less than three minutes into the game. Neither player gained the upper hand.


Sharks: Defensemen Erik Karlsson (upper body) and Jacob Middleton (upper body) were scratched after getting injured in Tuesday’s loss at Detroit. … G James Reimer (lower body) was held out for injury maintenance. Reimer started each of the first two games on the Sharks’ trip but was pulled from both, having allowed 10 goals over three periods. … D Mario Ferraro returned from missing three games while on the COVID-19 protocol list.

Sabres: Forwards Dylan Cozens, Mark Jankowski and Girgensons were activated after clearing COVID-19 protocols. They replaced Alex Tuch, Anders Bjork and Peyton Krebs, who were added to the protocol list Tuesday. … F Ryan MacInnis made his Sabres debut after getting called up from the minors and activated from the taxi squad. … D Colin Miller returned after missing three games with an undisclosed injury. … D Robert Hagg (lower body) skated Thursday for the first time since being injured on Dec. 14.


Sharks: Close out road trip at Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

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