Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. San Jose Sharks

The Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks will meet this season for the first time since March 1, 2012, when the Sabres defeated the Sharks by a narrow margin of 1-0.

In that game, Drew Stafford scored the lone goal, while Ryan Miller had a 39-save shutout. Antti Niemi stopped 18 of 19 shots for San Jose, but one goal was all it took for the game to be decided.

This coming season will mark the first time that the Sharks come to Buffalo since December 2010, since the two meetings since then have both been in San Jose. These are two teams who don’t see a lot of each other, and the rosters for both teams have changed since they last met back in March 2012.

For the fun of it, let’s just look at that a little further. Of the six defensemen who suited up for Buffalo that game, half are now gone, with Mike Weber, Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff remaining. Of the forwards: four of 12 are no longer playing with the Sabres. Only the goaltending has remained unscathed.

For San Jose: nine of 18 skaters are still with the team, while one goalie (Niemi) remains. That’s quite a shake-up; even though the core for the Sharks has basically been untouched (Thorton, Marleau, Boyle, etc.), it’ll still be a different game coming up this season against Buffalo.

In this offseason, the Sharks lost Scott Gomez, Tim Kennedy, Dominic Moore and Thomas Greiss. They picked up Tyler Kennedy from the Pittsburgh Penguins, re-signed several players and made a few small trades involving mainly draft picks and prospects.

Last season, San Jose finished sixth in the Western Conference with 57 points and a 25-16-7 record. They made it to the playoffs and swept the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, but were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings in seven games during the second round.

The teams will meet several times this season, beginning with a 10:30 pm matchup in San Jose on November 5 to kick off Buffalo’s California road trip. The Sharks will come to Buffalo on February 28 to finish out the season series.

Players to Watch:

  • SAN JOSE: Jumbo Joe Thornton has 33 points and 88 penalty minutes in 43 games against the Sabres; Patrick Marleau has 10 points in 18 games. You can’t underestimate guys like Dan Boyle, Tyler Kennedy and Antti Niemi.
  • BUFFALO: The Sharks would do well to keep on eye on Christian Ehrhoff, who has a little more experience playing the team than some of his counterparts. Ehrhoff has four points in eight career games versus San Jose, while Tyler Ennis has two points in three games. Ville Leino has scored three points in four career games against San Jose. Steve Ott knows the Sharks pretty well – he’s scored 21 points in 46 games against San Jose in his NHL career.

Meetings This Season:

  • November 5 @ SJS
  • February 28 @ BUF

Tags: Buffalo Sabres San Jose Sharks

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