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Peterka scores twice as Sabres beat Sharks

Buffalo Sabres JJ Peterka - The Canadian press

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — JJ Peterka scored two goals for the second straight game and the Buffalo Sabres netted five unanswered goals to rally past the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Saturday.

Peterka passed Jeff Skinner for the team lead with 18 goals this season.

“I think (it’s) just a stretch right now where everything goes in,” Peterka said. “I think I’m not playing a different game. I’m shooting as much as I shot before and right now things are just going in.”

Dylan Cozens added a goal and two assists, Alex Tuch had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Greenway scored a goal for the Sabres.

Casey Mittelstadt had two assists to give him a team-high 30 for the season. He also leads Buffalo with 42 points.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Jan Rutta scored for the Sharks, who had their season-best three-game winning streak snapped.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 23 saves to improve to 4-1 in his career against San Jose.

Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 31 shots but fell to 0-4 against Buffalo.

The Sharks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Vlasic and Rutta.

“It looked like we thought it was going to be easy,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “I thought we came out with a lot of energy, a lot of pace. And then all of a sudden we get up 2-0 and it was funny how it just changed. We got away from skating and competing and playing responsibly, and we weren’t able to get it back.”

Peterka and Greenway answered for the Sabres to tie the game at 2 after the first period.

Tuch scored early in the second to put Buffalo ahead. Peterka scored an insurance goal early in the third and Cozens added an empty-netter as the Sabres improved to 16-0-1 when leading after two periods.

“I don’t think we ever wavered in our confidence and our energy,” Tuch said. “Our style of play, I don’t think, really changed. We just tightened up a few areas, made a couple better plays with the puck and we were just a little stronger in puck battles.”

Buffalo forward Jack Quinn left the game in the third period after getting his left leg bent awkwardly on a check into the boards. He was helped off the ice and did not return.

Quinn missed the first 32 games of the season recovering from an Achilles injury.

“It was devastating to see him go down the way he did,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “Obviously the hockey side is a negative tremendous impact when you lose a guy like that, but the emotions go to the personal side. He’s endured a lot already in a very young career. So it’s a struggle. We don’t have the extent that he’s going to be out, but it’s certainly not day-to-day.”

Before the game, San Jose placed defenseman Henry Thrun on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and activated defenseman Ty Emberson from IR. Emberson recorded an assist.


Sabres: Host Dallas on Feb. 6 after the All-Star break.

Sharks: Host Seattle on Tuesday night.