NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 9th
(All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (14-9-4) at Buffalo Sabres (11-13-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - San Jose will try to wrap its five-game road trip with its
first victory at Buffalo in over five years as the Sharks and Sabres do battle
this evening at HSBC Arena.
San Jose improved to 3-1-0 on its swing last night with a 5-4 shootout victory
over Philadelphia. The Sharks rallied from a three-goal deficit to force the
extra time, getting third-period goals from Jason Demers, Logan Couture and
The Flyers looked like they had won it in overtime on a goal as time expired,
but replays showed that the puck did not cross the goal line prior to the end
of overtime. Couture and Ryane Clowe then scored in the shootout while Antero
Niittymaki, who ended with 31 saves, stopped both skaters he faced.
"It was one of those games that the puck was bouncing everywhere," said
Niittymaki. "I'm just glad we were able to win the game. It was a good
Clowe and Demers both ended with an assist and Couture's goal was his fifth in
the last four games. Defenseman Kent Huskins missed his fifth consecutive game
with an upper-body injury.
The Sharks, who are 7-5-2 overall on the road this season, have lost their
last two trips to Buffalo since their last victory there on Dec. 2, 2002. The
Sabres have lost just once in the Sharks' 14 all-time trips to western New
York and have taken three of the last four meetings overall.
Niittymaki has never beaten Buffalo, going 0-3-2 with a 4.34 goals-against
average versus the club. Fellow Sharks netminder Antti Niemi has never faced
The Sabres had won two straight games, both by way of a shutout, before
Tuesday's 3-2 overtime setback to the Bruins. Boston's Mark Recchi scored the
game-winning goal 2:11 into overtime, a tally that was originally waived off
before video review, which came almost a minute after the goal was scored,
confirmed the score.
Thomas Vanek scored his fifth goal in eight games and Luke Adam had the first
of his career for the Sabres, who are 3-1-1 in their last five games.
"I was pretty excited, I mean, you only get to score your first NHL goal
once," Adam told Buffalo's website. "It was maybe a little bit of relief, too.
I think I was pushing pretty hard to get it there and to be able to capitalize
Ryan Miller gave up three goals on 36 shots, including one in the first period
that ended his shutout streak at 161 minutes and 35 seconds.
Drew Stafford (upper body), Tim Connolly (groin) and Shaone Morrisonn (head)
all missed Tuesday's loss.
The Sabres have won five of their last seven at home and kick off a three-game
stay at HSBC Arena tonight. They are 5-8-1 overall as the host this year.
Miller is 3-1-0 with a tie and 2.53 GAA in his career versus the Sharks.
12/09 10:59:50 ET