The San Jose Sharks host the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m. at SAP Center looking to pick up their second win in a row and improve their position in the Pacific. Head coach Pete DeBoer tweaked the second and third lines during the Sharks’ win over Dallas on Sunday and it looks like those lines will stick against the Sabres tonight if today’s morning skate is any indication. More on that in a moment.
Where to watch / listen in San Jose
CSN-California / KFOX 98.5
Joel Ward will move to the second line with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture, a combination that has not boasted impressive possession numbers in limited action this season. That creates a similarly mediocre possession group on the third line in Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker. That’s all in a small sample size, so I’m not passing judgment yet.
Those lines come courtesy of Friend of the Blog Kevin Kurz. Martin Jones gets the start in goal, despite my (terrible) hunch Aaron Dell would get his second-straight start in goal. He will be opposed by Robin Lehner, who has struggled as of late. Lehner shut out the Blue Jackets his last time out but has posted a sub-.900 save percentage in three of his previous five starts.
Jones, on the other hand, has been strong since the bye week. The Sharks’ starter has posted a save percentage of .941 in five games since San Jose’s week off and posted a 3-2 record in those games. Those losses came in games when he posted a .926 and a .917 save percentage. So yeah, he’s played very well. Here are tonight’s lines:
Projected Sharks Lines
Jannik Hansen – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Marcus Sorensen
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Projected Sabres Lines
Evander Kane – Ryan O’Reilly – Justin Bailey
Matt Moulson – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Marcus Foligno – Zemgus Girgensons – Brian Gionta
Nic Deslauriers – Evan Rodrigues – Tyler Ennis
Jake McCabe – Rasmus Ristolainen
Justin Faulk – Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges – Cody Franson