Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Buffalo at San Jose
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, October 18, 2018
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The San Jose Sharks have been handed one of the worst schedules to start the season, playing eight of their first 11 games away from home. After wrapping up a five-game road trip with a narrow loss at New Jersey on Sunday, San Jose will play for only the second time at the SAP Center when it hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

San Jose went 2-2-1 on the five-game trek, but a highlight in Sunday's 3-2 setback was provided by Joe Pavelski, who scored the opening goal to join Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton as the only players in franchise history with 700 points. The Sharks had an eight-goal outburst in a drubbing of Philadelphia but otherwise have been limited to two regulation goals or fewer in their five other games. The Sabres split the first two contests of their five-game road trip, ending a seven-game point streak against the Pacific Division in Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Vegas. " We're just not generating enough offense in my opinion," Buffalo captain Jack Eichel said. "It's obviously hard to score goals in this league. Every pass has to matter. I think we're letting teams off the hook a little bit too easily when we have them."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, MSG-Buffalo, NBCS California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE SABRES (3-3-0): As the power play goes, so goes Buffalo, which has converted 4 of 9 chances with the extra skater in its three wins and failed on all 15 opportunities in its three losses. The Sabres whiffed on all six power plays against the Golden Knights and mustered a total of only eight shots with the man advantage. "I think we've just got to start shooting the puck," rookie forward Casey Mittelstadt said. "When you start struggling on the power play you usually try to get too cute. At times for us, that was what it was tonight."

ABOUT THE SHARKS (2-3-1): Thornton, on injured reserve since Oct. 7 with an infection in his surgically repaired knee, went through a full practice Tuesday and said he could return to the lineup Thursday, but coach Peter DeBoer wasn't so sure. "The reality of this is the antibiotics have to do their job," DeBoer said. "We can't risk a second infection. I would put it as doubtful." Tomas Hertl left Wednesday's practice and Kevin Labanc was unavailable due to a virus but DeBoer expected both to play against the Sabres.

OVERTIME

1. Sharks F Evander Kane, acquired from Buffalo last season, has four goals and five points.

2. Eichel has a goal and six points in six games against the Sharks.

3. San Jose is a woeful 2 of 21 on the power play.

PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Sabres 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Buffalo 3-3-0-0 L1 2-2-0-0 1-1-0-0 1-0-0-0 2-3-0-0 0-1-0-0
San Jose 2-3-1-0 L2 0-1-0-0 2-2-1-0 0-2-0-0 2-1-1-0 1-1-0-0
Last Meeting
Buffalo San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/28/17 SJ 3 BUF 2 33 28 1-5 31 31 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 1
San Jose J. Braun 1
Goals Player  
Buffalo R. O'Reilly 1
San Jose L. Couture 1
Assists Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 1
San Jose J. Braun 1
Saves Player  
Buffalo R. Lehner 28
San Jose A. Dell 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 9
San Jose K. Labanc 11
Goals Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 4
San Jose T. Meier 5
Assists Player  
Buffalo S. Reinhart 6
San Jose K. Labanc 8
Saves Player  
Buffalo C. Hutton 210
San Jose M. Jones 155
Quickchart Matchup
Buffalo Off vs  San Jose Def
2 GF
3.17 GA
26.5 Shots
27 Shots
4 PP
6 PK
San Jose Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.83 GF
2.83 GA
38.5 Shots
33.7 Shots
2 PP
4 PK