Programming note: Sharks-Sabres coverage gets underway at 12:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 4-3-1, 9 points, 4th Pacific Division
Sabres: 1-7-0, 2 points, 8th Atlantic Division
Sharks: The Sharks dropped their third straight game, all in regulation, 5-4 at home to Columbus on Thursday. The Blue Jackets’ Mark Letestu scored the game-winner with 20.7 seconds left in the third period erasing a 4-3 Sharks lead in the final frame, and a 2-0 first period edge. Joe Pavelski had two goals in the defeat, Logan Couture added one goal and one assist, and Antti Niemi took the loss with 23 saves on 28 shots. The Sharks start a three-game road trip on Sunday in Anaheim.
Sabres: Buffalo has lost four in a row, all in regulation, including defeats in Anaheim and Los Angeles earlier this week. The Sabres have scored just one goal in their last four games, and their lone win has come in a shootout against Carolina, the only team in the NHL that has yet to win a game. Buffalo concludes its four-game road swing in Toronto on Tuesday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Joe Pavelski. It looks like Pavelski will start as the third line center for the first time this season, as the Sharks will look to tighten up their defensive game after allowing 14 goals in the last three. Pavelski will likely skate between Tommy Wingels and Chris Tierney, as Todd McLellan continues to mix and match his forward lines due to San Jose’s inconsistent start to the season.
Sabres: Matt Moulson. The former Islanders forward has five points in his last five games against San Jose, including the game-winner the last time these teams met on Feb. 28 in Buffalo. Moulson is still looking for his first goal, though, and had just two assists and a -4 rating in eight games.
Goals per game: 3.25 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 3.00 (T - 16th)
Power play: 22.6 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 76.0 percent (24th)
Goals per game: 1.00 (30th)
Goals-against per game: 3.50 (26th)
Power play: 0.0 percent (30th)
Penalty kill: 84.4.percent (11th)
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – James Sheppard
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Matt Nieto
Chris Tierney – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
Tyler Kennedy – Adam Burish – Andrew Desjardins
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Alex Stalock (confirmed starter)
Matt Moulson – Tyler Ennis – Brian Gionta
Marcus Foligno – Cody Hodgson – Chris Stewart
Torrey Mitchell – Zemgus Girgensons – Drew Stafford
Nicolas Deslauriers – Cody McCormick – Nikita Zadorov
Josh Gorges – Tyler Myers
Mike Weber – Andrej Meszaros
Andre Benoit – Rasmus Ristolainen
Sharks: Tyler Kennedy (upper body) is questionable. Raffi Torres (right knee), Barclay Goodrow (left hand), and Mike Brown (left hand) are out.
Sabres: Patrick Kaleta (upper body) is out.
Buffalo is 8-2-0 in its last 10 games against the Sharks, including six straight wins.
The Sharks are 7-18-6 all-time against the Sabres. San Jose visits Buffalo on Nov. 18.
“Our problem right now isn’t scoring goals. It’s preventing them. Regardless of what the lines are, that’s something we need to improve on. Pavs is playing with us as the third line center, great. I love playing with him. But, our first worry right now is the goals we’re giving up, and that’s something we’re going to have to change if we want to get more wins.” – Tommy Wingels