Hertl scores 2 goals as short-handed Sharks beat Sabres 5-3

Nov 2, 2021, 10:15 AM | Updated: 11:00 pm
San Jose Sharks center Jonathan Dahlen, right, celebrates with Mario Ferraro (38) after scoring a g...

San Jose Sharks center Jonathan Dahlen, right, celebrates with Mario Ferraro (38) after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

              San Jose Sharks center Jonathan Dahlen, right, celebrates with Mario Ferraro (38) after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks left wing Alexander Barabanov (94) is checked into the boards by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer blocks a shot by the Buffalo Sabres during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson gives up a goal to San Jose Sharks' Mario Ferraro during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks won 5-3. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) moves the puck past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks won 5-3.(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) blocks a shot on goal Buffalo Sabres left wing John Hayden (15) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro (38) celebrates with Brent Burns (88) and Nick Merkley (10) after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks won 5-3. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
            
              San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Tomás Hertl had two goals and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Tuesday night.

The Sharks overcame the loss of seven players and head coach Bob Boughner to NHL COVID-19 protocols for the second straight game.

Jonathan Dahlen returned from protocol to score his fourth goal of the season, Mario Ferraro added his first along with an assist, and Ryan Merkley scored the first of his career. Rudolfs Balcers had two assists and James Reimer stopped 25 shots.

“It was awesome,” Merkley said. “I was excited to get that puck. I didn’t expect it to happen soon. In the other leagues, it took me a while.”

Added Hertl: “I’m just happy I scored. It was nice to get my line going. I’m happy for every single goal. The win is what matters most for me.”

Jeff Skinner scored two goals for the Sabres and Drake Caggiula added one. Vinnie Hinostroza had two assists for his first multi-point game of the season. Craig Anderson finished with 22 saves.

“The mindset wasn’t right,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said. “We didn’t play aggressive. We didn’t play assertive. That game was right there for the taking. We just didn’t play aggressive.”

Timo Meier was placed in COVID-19 protocol before the game, joining Sharjs teammates Kevin Labanc, Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Assistant coach John MacLean filled in for Boughner behind the bench. Head trainer Ray Tufts was also added to protocol.

“We’re trying to take as many precautions as we can,” MacLean said before the game. “We’re wearing masks, we’re doing everything we can.”

The Sharks’ entire roster and coaching staff is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Obviously, we know what they’re going through,” Skinner said. “They’re going through a lot of adversity. A lot of guys are probably pretty excited to get the opportunity. We knew they were going to come out hard, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to match (them). I think we matched in spurts, but that’s not good enough in this league.”

Dahlen and Merkley staked San Jose to a 2-1 lead after the first period. The teams traded goals in the middle frame.

Ferraro and Hertl scored in the third to give the Sharks a 5-2 lead.

“The credit goes to the players,” MacLean praised. “They really rallied behind this here. You know, next man up mentality. … It’s fun, and they’re enjoying the challenge of it as well. So that’s always nice to see.”

Skinner scored late in the third as Buffalo dropped its second straight game.

“We didn’t play to our identity,” Granato said. “We have a room of competitive guys that didn’t compete hard enough.”

EAKIN RETURNS

Sabres C Cody Eakin returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. He finished with one shot on goal in 13:40. “It’s great just to see him out there,” said LW Zemgus Girgensons. “He brings a lot of energy to our team. … (It) gives a little boost to our team to have him back.”

OLOFSSON INJURED IN PRACTICE

Buffalo LW Victor Olofsson sat out with a soft-tissue injury aggravated in Monday’s practice. Olofsson leads the team with five goals and nine points. “We held him out tonight in hopes that he’s back to normal on Thursday, potentially,” Granato said. “We’ll have doctors look at him further tomorrow to give us a better read and we’ll see. We still don’t expect him out very long at all.”

UP NEXT

Sabres: Visit Seattle on Thursday night.

Sharks: Host St. Louis on Thursday night.

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

People celebrate Morocco's win over Spain in a World Cup match played in Qatar, in Rabat, Morocco, ...
Associated Press

‘Our pride’: Morocco keeps Africa’s hope alive in World Cup

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — For many in Africa, Morocco’s underdog performance is the best story in the World Cup so far, with the hopes of the continent soaring ahead of the match on Saturday against Portugal. Across the continent of more than 1.3 billion people, African fans are excited that Morocco has become the fourth […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, right, and Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic, left, fight for the ball during the World C...
Associated Press

Neymar ties Pelé’s all-time record with Brazil at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar moved into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals on Friday. The Brazil forward scored in the first half of extra time of his team’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Croatia. Neymar scored with a right-footed shot after getting through the defense and dribbling […]
1 day ago
International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Thomas Bach attends the opening of the Executive Bo...
Associated Press

Russia may join sports events in Asia ahead of 2024 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russia could return to some international sports events and Olympic qualifiers by competing as part of Asia rather than Europe. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach welcomed a “creative” plan Friday to allow athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to join competitions in Asia after more than nine months of […]
1 day ago
Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup ...
Associated Press

Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is again going home without a World Cup title. Luka Modric’s quest continues unabated. Modric converted one of the penalties as Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time. Neymar […]
1 day ago
Morocco's head coach Walid Regragui is thrown in the air at the end of the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

Morocco coach skeptical World Cup can open door to Europe

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco coach Walid Regragui has guided his team to the World Cup quarterfinals — the first time an Arab nation has advanced that far in the tournament. One might think that would be enough to get him linked to a top job in Europe. Regragui isn’t so sure, sounding skeptical Friday […]
1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres' Tage Thompson, right, scores a goal against Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins...
Associated Press

Tage Thompson’s 5-goal outing showcases his sizeable ability

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — It was only fitting Tage Thompson got to celebrate the NHL’s most productive goal-scoring outing of the season with Don Granato, who was busy pulling one puck after another out of his pockets before the Sabres coach stopped at five in the visitor’s locker room in Columbus. If not for the […]
1 day ago
Hertl scores 2 goals as short-handed Sharks beat Sabres 5-3