Buffalo at San Jose
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 25, 2014
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
It isn’t bad enough for the Buffalo Sabres that they’re languishing near the bottom of the NHL standings - now they have to contend with one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. Buffalo continues its four-game road trip Saturday afternoon as it tangles with the host San Jose Sharks. The Sabres have scored just one goal during their four-game skid, while the Sharks have dropped three in a row despite entering Friday with a league-high 27 goals.
Fortunately for San Jose, it may not take much to vanquish the lowly Sabres, who have just nine goals through their first eight games. Buffalo fought gamely in its last contest against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings, but couldn't solve Jonathan Quick en route to a 2-0 defeat on Thursday. The Sharks' defensive woes have been their undoing, as they surrendered three second-period goals and squandered a third-period lead in a 5-4 loss to Columbus on Thursday.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, MSG-B (Buffalo), CSN-CA (San Jose)
ABOUT THE SABRES (1-7-0): Buffalo decided to swap out one rookie for another against Los Angeles, making center Sam Reinhart a healthy scratch and dressing 19-year-old defenseman Nikita Zadorov in his place. Zadorov was eased into action versus the defending champs, playing just over six minutes and finishing with a shot on goal. The Sabres can play Zadorov up to nine games before having to decide whether to keep him on the roster, or return him to his junior club, the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (4-3-1): San Jose is shuffling its lines ahead of the Sabres game - and unlike when most teams make a change, this one has nothing to do with offensive struggles. Joe Pavelski is being moved to the third line in an attempt to spur his team to play better defense. "We're kind of going in waves where we have a line or two that's responsible (defensively) and then one that falls off," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said following Friday's practice. "It's not just the top lines or the third or fourth lines. It varies."
1. The Sabres won both meetings last season, including a 5-4 shootout decision Nov. 5 in San Jose.
2. Pavelski has two goals and three assists in eight game against Buffalo.
3. The Sabres entered Friday as one of three teams still looking for its first power-play goal, having gone 0-for-27 with the man advantage.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Sabres 1
Stats and Records