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Preview: Sabres at Sharks

Buffalo, 10-0-1 in past 11 against San Jose, looks to extend streak

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (28-29-12) at SHARKS (41-20-7)

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

 

Sabres team scope

The Buffalo Sabres have gone 10-0-1 in their past 11 games against the San Jose Sharks and have won five straight games at SAP Center. "It's been fun," Tyler Ennis said after an optional morning skate. "There's been some wild games, games where we've come back from a lot, fluky goals. Some teams you just kind of have a good matchup against and things work out. We've had some good luck against them, played some good games against them and we're looking forward to keeping it going tonight." The Sabres rallied from down 4-1 in the third period to defeat the Sharks 5-4 in a shootout on Feb. 7 at KeyBank Center. Buffalo ended its four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. "When we go down, we all know we can piece together a comeback," Jack Eichel said. "We never think that we're out of a game, which is a good thing. We've been on the positive side of a few comebacks and on the negative side of it. We just want to come out and play a more consistent 60 minutes." Goaltender Robin Lehner will make his 49th start of the season. He replaced Anders Nilsson after the first period on Saturday didn't allow a goal on 24 shots. The Sabres, who have the NHL's top power play entering play Tuesday, have scored eight goals in 22 chances with the man advantage over their past six games.

 

Sharks team scope

The Sharks (89 points) have a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division ahead of the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames but aren't looking past the Sabres. "This team, for whatever reason, seems to have our number and has over the years," coach Peter DeBoer said. "So we've got to get past that. The good news is we've got a lot of good tape on what works against them, and also a little bit on what doesn't. It's just about executing and doing it for 60 minutes." The Sharks have won six of their past eight games (6-2-0) and are coming off of a 5-1 victory against the Dallas Stars at SAP Center on Sunday. San Jose has the third most points in the Western Conference trailing the Minnesota Wild (92) and Chicago Blackhawks (91). "We still want to catch a couple teams, but we want to make sure our game is going in the right direction heading into playoffs," Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. Forward Melker Karlsson (lower body) will miss his second straight game and defenseman David Schlemko his sixth straight. "Schlemko's a lot closer," DeBoer said. "Karlsson's a little bit closer, but still not available." Goaltender Martin Jones, who backed up Aaron Dell against Dallas, will start.

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Justin Bailey

Matt Moulson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Zemgus Girgensons -- Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Evan Rodrigues -- Tyler Ennis

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Justin Falk -- Zach Bogosian

Josh Gorges -- Cody Franson

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Hudson Fasching

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (upper body), Kyle Okposo (ribs), William Carrier (knee), Johan Larsson (wrist)

 

Sharks projected lineup

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

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Tim Heed, Ryan Carpenter

Injured: David Schlemko (lower body), Melker Karlsson (lower body)

 

Status report

Fasching was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday but will be a healthy scratch. ... Gionta moved from the third to the top line during practice Monday, trading spots with Bailey, but it's not known if Buffalo will start the game that way. ... Ward, who had a goal against Dallas, likely will remain on the second line with Marleau and Couture.

 

Who's hot

Pavelski has six points (five goals, one assist) in his past four games. ... Thornton has a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists). ... Ristolainen has a three-game point streak (one goal, three assists). ... Kane has 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in his past 23 games.

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