SAN JOSE -- Maybe the only way the San Jose Sharks were going to beat the Buffalo Sabres was on a gift, a downright colossal fluke.
That's what happened Tuesday night in SAP Center as an own-goal by Jack Eichel in the final minute of the second period snapped a tie to put the Sharks ahead and they went on to beat Buffalo, 4-1.
The loss ended the Sabres' five-game winning streak here and was San Jose's first in regulation over Buffalo in the last 12 meetings dating to 2010. The Sabres are 2-7-2 in their last 11 games. The Pacific Division-leading Sharks are 9-2-2 in their last 13.
Michael Haley was credited with the winning goal, which came with 49.4 seconds left in the second period. Cody Franson had the puck behind the Buffalo net and tried a backhand pass to Eichel, standing just in front of Robin Lehner. The puck ticked off Eichel's skate, went through Lehner's legs, hit the goalpost and went into the net.
Joe Pavelski had two goals for San Jose, a power-play tally at 11:47 of the second period and a rebound of a deflected shot at 5:14 of the third. The Sharks dominated play much of the night, getting 20 shots on goal in the first period and outshooting Buffalo overall, 41-23.
Shooting gallery: Lehner stopped all 20 shots he faced in the first period and the first 10 in the second before the Pavelski goal. That gave him 54 straight saves since he relieved Anders Nilsson for the second period Saturday against Columbus.
Power-play troubles: The Sharks did not score on their first two man-advantages in the game, dropping them to 0 for 11 over the last three outings and 2 for 26 in their last eight. Pavelski's first goal snapped that slump
A quick lead: The Sabres took a 1-0 lead at 1:10 of the first period as Eichel potted his 20th goal of the season after Matt Moulson beat Burns to a loose puck and shoveled it across the crease to the left of Martin Jones.
20-20 vision: Eichel's 20th made him the first Sabres player to debut with back-to-back 20-goal seasons since Thomas Vanek in 2006 and 2007.
In the paint: The Sharks had an apparent tying goal by Marcus Sorensen midway through the first period when it was ruled that Brent Burns skated through the blue area and obstructed Lehner's move back to his left. The play was ruled no goal on the ice after the officials had a brief conference and the call was upheld when San Jose challenged the call to send it to video review.
Chewbacca blanked: Burns, San Jose's Hart Trophy candidate defenseman, failed to score for the 10th straight game and remained stuck at 27 goals but it wasn't for any lack of effort. Burns led all players with eight shots on goal in the game and had an incredible 15 shot attempts.
Final goal a beauty: San Jose's Logan Couture got an insurance goal with 5:03 left, netting a one-handed special as he just beat Lehner to a loose puck and flipped it over the prone Buffalo goalie.
Up Next: The Sabres flew to Los Angeles immediately after the game and will practice Wednesday in suburban El Segundo before meeting the Kings Thursday night in Staples Center. Buffalo has suffered 2-0 shutout defeats in each of its last three visits to Staples, which was the site of the All-Star Game in January. The Western swing ends Friday night in Anaheim.