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Sabres aim to continue dominance of Sharks

by Brian Compton

SABRES (28-27-8) at SHARKS (33-22-7)

TV: MSG-Buffalo, CSN-California (HD)

LAST 10 : Buffalo 5-3-2; San Jose 3-6-1.

Season Series:
This is the lone meeting between the teams this season. Buffalo has won the last three games, including a 3-0 victory at San Jose last Jan. 6.

Big Story: It's San Jose's second game since Monday, as general manager Doug Wilson landed wingers Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi from the Colorado Avalanche prior to the 3 p.m. (ET) deadline. Winnik played almost 19 minutes in the Sharks' 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at HP Pavilion, while Galiardi played nearly 13 minutes.

"When everybody gets into their proper roles, we have a very good hockey team," said Wilson, who is still without the likes of Martin Havlat, Logan Couture, Dominic Moore and Douglas Murray due to various injuries. "We get Marty Havlat back. Douglas Murray is a force. Dominic Moore is a very important player for us. And with these two new players, once you get all the pieces to the puzzles settled, we like our team a lot. But it doesn't matter what it looks like on paper -- it's what's on the ice that counts."

Team Scope:

Sabres: Ryan Miller wasn't happy that the Sabres traded gritty center Paul Gaustad at Monday's deadline, but he didn't let any displeasure toward management affect his play Wednesday night in Anaheim. Miller stopped all 43 shots he faced, including 20 in the third period, to lead the Sabres to a 2-0 win that moved them within five points of eighth place in the East.

"I felt pretty good," Miller said. "I've been trying to really be calm in the net and start from in the crease. It helps that we have a lot of great back pressure. Our D is able to stand some guys up. I don't feel I have to challenge the rush plays too much. When I do have to step up and attack, it's more one option that I have to commit to."

Sharks: After a 2-6-1 nine-game road trip that culminated with the Sharks being forced to stay an extra night in Minnesota due to plane trouble, they finally returned home and gutted out a win against Philadelphia behind a 25-save performance from Antti Niemi. Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal for San Jose, which finds itself looking up at the Phoenix Coyotes in the Pacific Division after the latter went 11-0-1 in the month of February.

"We needed this," Clowe said. "It was a gutsy win, especially in the third. You had a lot of juggling. A lot of key guys out. I was really happy to see Nemo bounce back and play good. He was solid tonight."

Who's Hot: Miller has been in goal for every game during Buffalo's 4-0-2 run. … San Jose captain Joe Thornton has six goals and 15 assists in his last 15 games. He has tallied at least one point in 13 of those matches.

Injury Report: Jochen Hecht (concussion) is out for the Sabres, while Cody McCormick (upper body) is day-to-day. … Havlat (hamstring) has resumed skating for the Sharks, but isn't ready to play just yet. Murray is out with a fractured Adam's apple, while Moore (lower body) and Couture (undisclosed) are questionable.

Stat Pack: With Tuesday's win, the Sharks have compiled 11 victories and two ties in their last 13 games against Philadelphia. They've won 10 straight against the Flyers. … Buffalo is 17-6-4-1 all-time against the Sharks.

Puck Drop: "Real gutsy effort. All the credit in the world to the players for their effort, right on off from the goaltending through the defensemen through the forwards. New players integrated very well. They had a huge contribution to the game and the result. Todd (McLellan) and all the coaches are really proud of the group." - Sharks assistant coach Matt Shaw after Tuesday's 1-0 win against Philadelphia.

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