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Preview: Sabres Head to San Jose

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Sabres face Sharks in late-night puck drop

Buffalo Sabres v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Game 7

Buffalo Sabres (3-3-0) vs San Jose Sharks (2-3-1)

Puck Drop: 10:30 PM | SAP Center | San Jose, CA

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Sharks Blog: Fear the Fin

Know Your Opponent

San Jose Sharks

Record: (2-3-1) | 5 PTS

Last 10: 2-3-1

Division Ranking: 5th in the Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 11th in the Western Conference

PP: 27th (9.5%)

PK: 16th (78.6%)

What to Watch

1. Lots of shots

The Sharks have been taking a lot of shots on net this season. Check out the chart below from Sean Tierney (@Charting Hockey). Expect the Sharks to put a lot of shots up again tonight, which means the Buffalo defense and goaltending will need to be top-notch to avoid a blowout.

2. Need a strong first period

The Sabres will need to come out strong against a tough San Jose team tonight. A good start can mean all the difference between a win and a loss, and if the Sabres are lackadaisical in the opening frame, the Sharks won’t hesitate to take advantage and put up a quick lead.

3. Can the Sabres get above .500?

Tuesday’s effort in Vegas was one to forget. The Sabres need to learn from it, but at the same time, put it behind them and focus on the task at hand: tonight’s game. With a win, the Sabres can go above .500... a good sign for the rest of the season.

4. Erik Karlsson

This will be the Sabres’ first time facing the Sharks with their ‘new’ defenseman: Erik Karlsson. He’ll be one player to watch tonight for San Jose.

Buffalo Sabres (projected - morning skate at 2:30 PM EST)

Forwards

Conor Sheary - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Remi Elie - Vladimir Sobotka - Tage Thompson

Zemgus Girgensons - Evan Rodrigues - Jason Pominville

Defense

Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Dahlin

Nathan Beaulieu - Zach Bogosian

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton

San Jose Sharks (projected)

Forwards

Evander Kane - Joe Pavelski - Kevin Labanc

Tomas Hertel - Logan Couture - Timo Meier

Marcus Sorensen - Antti Suomela - Joonas Donskoi

Barclay Goodrow - Rourke Chartier - Melker Karlsson

Joakim Ryan - Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon - Justin Braun

Martin Jones