The Sharks (4-5-0) visit the Buffalo Sabres (3-6-2) bright and early today in an early bird special. History has not been kind to the boys in teal in this city, as the Sharks are 2-19-2 all time in Buffalo, but the Sabres are not without their struggles in this young season, skating to a -14 goal differential. The Sharks look to even out their win loss record back to .500, and bring their current road trip above it, which currently sits at 2-2-0.
Coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss in Boston on Thursday night, the Sharks can take solace in the fact that, for much of the game, they dominated play, out shot attempting the Bruins 71-56. If they can keep that kind of possession going, the wins will start rolling in. Center Joe Thornton has six points in his last five games, and hit a milestone that night, tying Jarri Kuri at 20th on the all time points list with 1398. With at least one point tonight, Thornton will take sole ownership of that title. The next target on that list is former Sabre Dale Hawerchuk with 1409.
The Sabres last played Wednesday night in Columbus and were humbled to the tune of 5-1 against the Blue Jackets. Look out for Jack Eichel, though, who has five points in five games against San Jose, and is pointless in his last two. The Sabres have won two of their last three, however, and come up even in the standings with the Sharks with eight points.
The Sharks' power play, while not terribly fun to look at, ranks 10th in the league, converting on 21.6% of their chances, which stands in stark contrast to Buffalo's 13.5%, good enough for 26th. If Logan Couture can continue his hot hot hot streak, standing at nine points (six goals, three assists) in five games, and the Sabres continue to fail to get scoring from deeper in their line up, there should be two more points up on the board before this afternoon.
Sharks Lines (via NHL.com)
Joonas Donskoi -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier -- Ryan Carpenter -- Joel Ward
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed
Scratched: Barclay Goodrow, Jannik Hansen, Dylan DeMelo
Injured: Paul Martin (ankle)
Same lineup for #SJSharks today except Dell in goal. 3-consecutive healthy scratches for Hansen— Paul Gackle (@GackleReport) October 28, 2017
Jannik Hansen is scratched for the third straight game. The Sharks' defensive pairs with Martin out have not missed a beat, as newcomer Heed and Dillon rank first in the NHL in expected goals for percentage at even strength.
Sabres Lines (via NHL.com)
Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons -- Sam Reinhart -- Justin Bailey
Jordan Nolan -- Johan Larsson -- Matt Moulson
Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe -- Matt Tennyson
Victor Antipin -- Zach Redmond
Scratched: Seth Griffith, Taylor Fedun
Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body), Josh Gorges (lower body), Jacob Josefson (lower body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Evan Rodrigues (hand), Justin Falk (undisclosed)
The Sabres need new acquisition Scandella and fantasy darling Ristolainen to step up. They have no goals from their defensemen yet this year.
Where to Watch
Broadcast: NBCS-CA, MSG-B, SN
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App