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Sabres at Sharks Preview: Business Time

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With the Sharks facing the lowly Sabres, will the team show up and get down to business?

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the Sharks return home after their shootout loss against the Colorado Avalanche, many minds have turned towards the trade deadline. Before that deadline, the Sharks have a "gimme" game against the Buffalo Sabres. This is a Sabres team coming off of a 1-0 loss against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. As the Pacific division begins to show some clarity, this game is a must-win if the Sharks are looking for home ice advantage in the playoffs.

Not to harp too much on how bad the Sabres are this year, but this team downright stinks. Their record indicates as much and have stayed near the bottom of the standings all year. They may have had a rough go this year but they have had some genuine bright spots with players like Ryan O'Reilly (out with an injury), Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart carving out places on the team. The future is bright in Buffalo and because of this the Sharks need to be wary of a team that has the ability to sneak up on them if they aren't careful.

Tale Of The Tape

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24-30-7 Record 32-21-6
7th in Atlantic Rank 3rd in Pacific
46.8%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 52.6%
99.3
PDO 100.2
19.9 PP% 22.5
82.5 PK% 79.3

7:30 PM PDT | SAP Center| San Jose, California
TV: SNE, SNO, SNP, MSG-B, CSN-CA, NHL.TVRadio: SJSharks.com98.5 KFOX Know Your Enemy: Die By The Blade

Projected Sharks Lineup
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Matthew Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward
Melker Karlsson - Logan Couture - Joonas Donskoi
Nick Spaling - Chris Tierney - Dainius Zubrus
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak
Martin Jones
Alex Stalock
Projected Sabres Lineup
Evander Kane - Sam Reinhart - Justin Bailey
Zemgus Girgensons - Jack Eichel - Jamie McGinn
Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Matt Moulson
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian
Carlo Colaiacovo - Mark Pysyk
Robin Lehner
Chad Johnson

Last Meeting

The game was only the second ever victory for the Sharks against the Sabres. The game ended in overtime thanks to Patrick Marleau putting home a Vlasic rebound. Martin Jones came up huge that evening with 30 saves.

Storylines
  • With one point on the evening, Brent Burns could hit 400 points. Will Burns be able to pull off a memorable milestone in front of the home crowd?
  • Very quietly, second overall pick, Jack Eichel is tied for second in the rookie scoring race. Can the Sharks contain the rookie phenom?
  • Robin Lehner has given up one goal or fewer in four of his last five. Will the Sharks be able to solve this Swedish enigma?