Nov 5, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers (5) controls the puck against Buffalo Sabres left wing Marcus Foligno (82) during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Sharks Finish Back-to-Back vs. Sabres: Game Preview


The post-Olympic schedule has started as close to perfectly as possible for the San Jose Sharks, as they routed the Flyers 7-3 on Thursday night.

But there’s little time to celebrate, and certainly no rest for the weary, as the Sharks are right back at it on Friday night, playing the back end of a back-to-back against the Sabres in Buffalo.

While the Sabres may have the worst record in the league, they have won two straight games since the Olympic break, beating Carolina and Boston. Ryan Miller, the subject of many trade rumors as the deadline nears, will get the start. Buffalo is clearly a team in rebuild mode, but by no means is this a walkover game for the Sharks. Given that this is the second of back-to-back games and the Sabres’ high confidence level at the moment, this has potential to be a trap game for Team Teal.

 

Last Meeting

In their last meeting on Nov. 5 last year, the Sabres handed the Sharks a 5-4 loss in the shootout in a controversial game. San Jose appeared to had won the game in overtime, but the referees didn’t see the puck cross the line, and the play wasn’t even reviewed. Nonetheless, the Sharks had to overcome a two-goal deficit in the third period just to get back into the game, which shouldn’t happen against an inferior opponent in the Sabres. They’ll need a better effort tonight.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks

  • Goals for per game: 2.88 (7th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.33 (T-4th)
  • Shots per game: 34.8 (1st)
  • Shots against per game: 27.7 (5th)
  • Save percentage: 0.916 (T-7th)
  • Penalty minutes: 531 (27th)
  • Power play percentage: 17.3% (19th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 84.2% (6th)

Sabres:

  • Goals for per game: 1.90 (30th) 
  • Goals against per game: 2.95 (23rd)
  • Shots per game: 26.7 (29th)
  • Shots against per game: 34.2 (27th)
  • Save percentage: 0.914 (T-14th)
  • Penalty minutes: 894 (1st)
  • Power play percentage: 14.6% (25th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 81.8% (14th)

History Says

Via Sabres’ media notes:

  • The Sabres are currently on a franchise-best five-game winning streak against the Sharks. The previous record was four straight wins, set the first four times the teams faced off (Oct. 25, 1991 to Oct. 23, 1992).
  • These teams are facing off twice this season for the first time since 2010-11. San Jose will visit Buffalo for the first time since Dec. 9, 2010 (6-3 Buffalo win).
  • The Sharks have only won one game in Buffalo in the franchise’s history (Dec. 2, 2005). The Sabres have won both home games since then.
  • Ryan Miller is 7-1-1 against the Sharks in his career with a .932 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average.

Injury Report

SJ: Brad Stuart (upper body injury) is day-to-day. Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery) is on injured reserve.

BUF: Tyler Ennis (general body soreness) and Zenon Konopka (finger) are day-to-day. 

Probable Lines

SAN JOSE (38-16-6)

Forwards

Pavelski-Thornton-Burns

Marleau-Couture-Havlat

Nieto-Wingels-Burish

Torres-Desjardins-Brown

Defensemen

Vlasic-Boyle

Irwin-Braun

Demers-Hannan

BUFFALO (17-34-8)

Forwards

Moulson-Leino-Stafford

Ott-Hodgson-D’Agostini

Foligno-Flynn-Girgensons

McCormick-Konopka-Ellis

Defensemen

Sulzer-Ehrhoff

Myers-Weber

McBain-Tallinder

Game Info

Opening faceoff: 4:00 PST

Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY

TV: LOCAL (CSNCA, MSG)

Tags: San Jose Sharks