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Sabres at Sharks preview

Buffalo, San Jose each looking for first win

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (0-2-1) AT SHARKS (0-2-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, MSG-B, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Defenseman Joakim Ryan will make his NHL debut, and defenseman Tim Heed and forward Ryan Carpenter will make their season debuts for the San Jose Sharks against the Buffalo Sabres at SAP Center on Thursday, with each team looking for its first win of the season.

Ryan was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League and will replace defenseman Paul Martin who was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Carpenter will center the fourth line.

Buffalo, looking for a spark, will shuffle each of its lines. Sam Reinhart will move from center on the second line to right wing on the third, and left wing Evander Kane drops from the top line to the second. Zemgus Girgensons will move from the third line to the top line at left wing.

 

Players to watch

Kane will try to extend his goal streak to three games when he plays his 500th career NHL game. He leads the Sabres in goals (four) and points (six).

Heed, who spent three full seasons in the Swedish Hockey League before signing with the Sharks last season, will be paired with Brenden Dillon and will be on the Sharks' top power play unit.

 

They said it

"I think we haven't competed the way we need to at the NHL level in order to win hockey games. We're going to have to change that tonight. We've got two desperate teams playing. Whoever competes the hardest is probably going to win." -- Sabres forward Evander Kane

"Unfortunately we haven't got off to the start we want, so changes are inevitable. We said guys, right from Day One, were going to be interchangeable." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on having three new players in his lineup

 

Sabres projected lineup

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Benoit Pouliot -- Johan Larsson -- Sam Reinhart

Seth Griffith -- Jacob Josefson -- Jordan Nolan

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Nathan Beaulieu -- Matt Tennyson

Jake McCabe -- Josh Gorges

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Injured: Zach Bogosian (lower body), Justin Falk (undisclosed)

Scratched: Matt Moulson, Victor Antipin

 

Sharks projected lineup

Kevin Labanc -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Joonas Donskoi -- Chris Tierney -- Timo Meier

Melker Karlsson -- Ryan Carpenter -- Jannik Hansen

Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Barclay Goodrow, Dylan DeMelo, Joel Ward

Injured: Paul Martin (ankle)

 

Status report

Okposo missed the morning skate with an illness, but Sabres coach Phil Housley said there's definitely a chance he'll be in the lineup. Moulson skated in his spot at right wing on the second line. ... Gorges will make his season debut. ... Hertl will move from third-line center to left wing on the second line. ... Jones, who has a 5.16 goals-against average, will start for the third straight game.

 

Stat pack

Burns has three goals and seven assists in 12 career games against Buffalo. ... The Sabres are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games against the Sharks.

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