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Preview: Sharks continue road trip in Buffalo

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San Jose goes for the sweep of the back-to-back.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks will again try to win two games in a row for the first time since starting the 2015–16 season 4–0. They’ll do so against the Buffalo Sabres, a team they just can’t seem to beat: San Jose hasn’t recorded a win over Buffalo since January 23, 2010. Jed Ortmeyer scored two goals for the Sharks in that win, so you know it’s been a while. At First Niagara Center, the Sharks are 1–15–1, with the sole win coming nearly a decade ago on December 2, 2005.

After finishing dead last in the NHL for two straight seasons, the Sabres have started the 2015–16 season perfectly average at 8–8–0. They’ve won three straight over the Canucks, Lightning, and Panthers en route to that record, so they’re trending up instead of down. Ryan O’Reilly leads the team with 13 points after coming over in a trade with Jamie McGinn and signing a 7-year, $52.5 million contract extension.

Tale Of The Tape

Sharks 100px

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Buffalo Sabres logo
8–8–0 Record 8–8–0
4th in Pacific Rank 5th in Atlantic
51.7%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 48.5%
99.7 PDO 96.6
11.1 PP% 25.0
78.0 PK% 75.6

4:00 PST - First Niagara Center - Buffalo, New York
TV: CSN-CA - Radio: KFOX 98.5
Know Your Enemy: Die By The Blade

Last meeting

The Sharks outshot the Sabres 30–14 but lost 4–1 for their eighth straight loss to Buffalo. After posting a magnificent 45-save shutout in Carolina in his NHL debut, Troy Grosenick allowed three goals on 13 shots in his second start. Old friend Torrey Mitchell, who I can't think about without remembering this goal, didn't do a whole lot but got third star for the Sabres. Brent Burns scored the only goal for San Jose.

Storylines

  • Look for Alex Stalock in the second half of the back-to-back. He allowed only one goal on 21 shots in relief of Martin Jones on Tuesday after saving 31 of 33 shots five days before. The Sharks need that version of Stalock to show up and not the one who started the season with clunkers in Brooklyn and Dallas.
  • The Sharks’ power play only got one opportunity last night in Detroit, but it failed to capitalize and dropped to 11.1 percent on the season. San Jose’s been struggling to score goals lately and Buffalo’s penalty kill is ranked 26th in the league, so today would be a good time for the power play to right the ship.