(SportsNetwork.com) – The Buffalo Sabres may be drawing the perfect opponent
in their chance at winning consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Sabres seek an eighth straight victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks
as the two clubs clash on Tuesday night at First Niagara Center.
Buffalo halted a five-game slide with Saturday’s 6-2 rout of the Toronto Maple
Leafs, the Sabres’ best offensive showing since a 7-4 win at Boston on Jan.
Zemgus Girgensons scored twice, while Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis added a
goal and two assists each. Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers also scored in just
Buffalo’s fourth win of the season (4-13-2).
“It was a huge character win for us,” Myers said. “Any time they seemed to get
a little bit of life, we answered right back pretty quick. It’s something we
have to try to make a habit moving forward.”
The Sabres had been tagged for 18 goals in their previous three games, but got
32 saves on Saturday from Michal Neuvirth.
One of Buffalo’s four victories on the season came in a 2-1 decision at San
Jose on Oct. 25. That was the Sabres’ seventh victory in a row in this series
as they have not lost to the Sharks since Jan. 23, 2010.
Buffalo also is 15-1-0 all-time at home versus San Jose, with the lone setback
coming on Dec. 2, 2005. The Sabres have claimed four straight in Western New
York over the Sharks since.
Neuvirth made 29 saves in the earlier win over San Jose and is expected to
start again tonight. He improved to 1-3-0 in this matchup with a 2.77 goals
against average and .913 save percentage in four starts.
The Sharks conclude a seven-game, 11-day road trip tonight and are an even
3-3-0 on the swing following Sunday’s 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. It
was a memorable night for goaltender Troy Grosenick, who made 45 saves to earn
a shutout in his NHL debut.
Grosenick, 25, helped lead Union College to the Frozen Four in 2012 and had
gone 7-2-1 with a 2.73 GAA in 10 games for Worcester of the American Hockey
League. He was recalled on Nov. 12 because of a left knee injury suffered by
backup goaltender Alex Stalock.
“It’s going to be really special to go back on it,” Grosenick said.
Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks and Joe Thornton extended his point streak
to six straight games (4 goals, 3 assists) with an empty-net tally. Barclay
Goodrow earned his first career point with an assist on Hertl’s tally.
Despite Grosenick’s successful debut, Antti Niemi may get the start tonight
for the Sharks, though he is only 0-3-1 with a 3.23 GAA and .882 save
percentage in his career against the Sabres.
Stalock got the start and lost in the earlier meeting with Buffalo.