Programming note: Sabres-Sharks coverage gets underway on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE -- Alex Stalock will return to the net on Saturday, when the Sharks have a rare home matinee match against the Buffalo Sabres.
San Jose will try to put the skids on a three-game losing streak, while Stalock will aim to move past his difficult outing against the Rangers on Sunday. The 27-year-old struggled playing the puck, resulting in some bad goals-against in a 4-0 loss.
“I haven’t played a perfect game all the way through my career. I’ve had poor games, and it’s something that I like to do is come back from a poor game and play well,” Stalock said.
“I actually felt good stopping the puck. If I stay away from handling the puck I think the outcome is different. A lot of times I love playing the puck, and it was one of those nights. It’s like any other sport, the pitcher can’t hit the strike zone or hit his signature pitch. It was one of those nights where bad bounces ended up in the back of the net.”
After back-to-back shutouts by Antti Niemi and Stalock to start the year, the Sharks’ goaltending duo has been shaky as the club has surrendered 25 goals in its last six games. Since he blanked Winnipeg in the home opener on Oct. 11, Stalock is 0-1-1 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in his last two starts.
Niemi played back-to-back games against Boston on Tuesday and Columbus on Thursday, allowing nine goals on 60 shots over the two losses for an .850 save percentage.
The goals-against aren’t totally the fault of the goaltenders, though, according to Tommy Wingels.
“Goals-against isn’t a goalie number at all, it’s definitely a team number,” Wingels said. “You see how we’re getting scored on. It’s us being soft, and it’s us not coming back correctly. It’s mental errors on our PK. These are all things that you’d love your goalie to bail you out and often times our goalies do, but it’s things we need to change as a team.”