SAN JOSE – The Buffalo Sabres left Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday frustrated by the lack of goals they’ve been able to score. Buffalo was shut out by the Kings and has scored just one goal in the past four games.
When they hit the ice at SAP Center at San Jose for practice Friday morning, they had some new line combinations:
26 Matt Moulson – 65 Brian Flynn – 80 Chris Stewart
82 Marcus Foligno – 19 Cody Hodgson – 21 Drew Stafford
17 Torrey Mitchell – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 23 Sam Reinhart – 8 Cody McCormick
4 Josh Gorges – 57 Tyler Myers
6 Mike Weber – 41 Andrej Meszaros
61 Andre Benoit – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
1 Jhonas Enroth
34 Michal Neuvirth
Patrick Kaleta once again was a limited participant and skated in a red, non-contact jersey and a full-face shield.
Tyler Ennis was given a maintenance day and did not practice.
Nolan said Reinhart will play against the Sharks on Saturday.
POWER PLAY RESULTS NEEDED
A big reason why their goal total is down is because they’ve yet to convert on the man advantage this season. The Sabres are one of three teams without a power-play goal. Minnesota (0-for-19) and Winnipeg (0-for-19) are the other two.
After going 0-for-3 on Thursday, the Sabres have now not scored in 27 man-advantage opportunities. They’re eighth in the League with 39 power-play shots on goal and are averaging 1.44 shots on goal per opportunity.
"It’s not going the way we planned, but we can’t pout, can’t sulk. We just have to work hard and dig ourselves out of it," Ennis said. "We’re all good players. We can make plays. We’ve had a couple bounces go the wrong way. We’ve got to create our own chances, create our own bounces and put the puck in the net."
They’ve tried some different combinations and units. Cody Hodgson moved to the point four games ago on the first unit, putting four forwards on the ice with defenseman Tyler Myers and Zemgus Girgensons joined the second unit.
The Sabres have players on the roster – and on the special teams units – who have scored plenty of goals in past seasons. Nolan would like to see even more pucks and bodies go to the net, especially by those goal scorers.
“You’ve got to shoot the puck and the simpler, the better. I don’t know what you do. We have the group that we have,” Nolan said after the Kings game. “Drew Stafford’s a 20-goal scorer, Matty Moulson’s a 20-goal scorer, Ennis is a 20-goal scorer, Hodgson’s a 20-goal scorer. So we can draw up all we want, we just need to find a way to get some shots through and battle and fight for those loose pucks.
The Sharks lost 5-4 at home Thursday night to the Columbus Blue Jackets with Mark Letestu’s game winner coming with 20.7 seconds left in regulation. San Jose was up two goals midway through the third period before Columbus stormed back.
The Sabres and Sharks will face off at 4 p.m. EST Saturday afternoon. The Tops Gamenight pregame show starts at 3:30 p.m. on MSG-B and Bell TV. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.