In the Crease: Sabres vs. Sharks

In the Crease: Sharks have no excuses against Sabres

In the Crease: Sabres vs. Sharks
November 5, 2013, 9:45 am

The Sharks were bumped from first place in the Pacific Division for the first time this season after their first two-game losing streak. (USATSI)

Programming note: Sabres-Sharks coverage gets underway tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California. Territory restrictions apply.

Where they stand
Sharks: 10-1-3, 23 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 3rd Western Conference
Sabres: 2-13-1, 5 points, 8th Atlantic Division, 16th Eastern Conference

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 3.71 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 1.79 (2nd)
Power play: 21.5 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 86.4 percent (5th)

Sabres
Goals per game: 1.56 (30th)
Goals-against per game: 3.06 (26th)
Power play: 12.5 percent (24th)
Penalty kill: 83.0 percent (12th)

Probable lines

Sharks
Patrick Marleau– Logan Couture – Marty Havlat
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Tyler Kennedy
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – John McCarthy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brad Stuart – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Sabres
Matt Moulson – Cody Hodgson – Tyler Ennis
Steve Ott – Mikhail Grigorenko – Corey Tropp
Ville Leino – Cody McCormick – Drew Stafford
Zemgus Girgensons – Johan Larsson – Brian Flynn

Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Pysyk
Henrik Tallinder – Tyler Myers
Jamie McBain – Rasmus Ristolainen

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth

Last game

Sharks: Dan Boyle scored a power play goal in his return to the lineup and Joe Pavelski added a goal and an assist, but the Sharks lost in a shootout to Phoenix, 3-2 on Saturday at SAP Center. Antti Niemi took the loss with 28 saves on 30 shots. The defeat was San Jose’s first on home ice (5-0-1), and the Sharks have now been bumped from first place in the Pacific Division for the first time this season after their first two-game losing streak (0-0-2).

Sabres: The Anaheim Ducks scored three times in the second period and three more in the third, in a 6-3 win in Buffalo on Saturday. The Sabres led 1-0 on a Cody Hodgson power play goal, but surrendered the next five to the Ducks. Henrik Tallinder and Tyler Myers also scored in the loss, and Jhonas Enroth allowed six goals on 29 shots.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Joe Pavelski. The Sharks center has three goals and an assist in his last three games, and his line, with Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels, was arguably the Sharks’ best in Saturday’s loss to Phoenix. Pavelski is tied with Logan Couture for the team lead in scoring with 16 points, and has three goals in six career games against Buffalo.

Sabres: Matt Moulson. Buffalo acquired the talented forward from the New York Islanders in exchange for Thomas Vanek and draft picks on Oct. 27, and Moulson leads the league with five power play goals. In three games since the trade, Moulson has two goals and two assists with the Sabres, and his eight total goals lead a team that is starved for offense.

Injuries/Scratches

Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery), and Brent Burns (face) are out.

Sabres: Mike Weber (upper body) and John Scott (suspension) are out.

Season/All-Time series

The Sharks will visit Buffalo for the only time this season on Feb. 28, in their second game after the Olympic break.

All-time, San Jose is just 7-17-4-1 against the Sabres. Buffalo is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games against the Sharks.

Quoteable

“We could have come out with two points in either game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was our two best games. There’s a lot of things we can do better.” – Brad Stuart

Burning question

Which Sharks rookie has more upside, Matt Nieto or Tomas Hertl? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

 

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