Programming note: Sharks-Sabres coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California.
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 33-17-3, 69 points, 1st Pacific Division
Sabres: 21-21-10, 52 points, 7th Atlantic Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks, 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, will begin their final road trip against Eastern Conference opponents tonight. Buffalo has been a difficult place for them to win, as they're just 2-15-1 in franchise history in upstate New York, although Patrick Marleau's goal there last season gave them a 2-1 overtime victory.
San Jose is 16-6-0 against the Eastern Conference, the best mark among Western Conference clubs. They visit Boston, Philadelphia and New Jersey before returning home on Feb. 15 to host Florida.
***While they're highly unlikely to qualify for a playoff spot, the Sabres have been particularly good in their own building lately, bringing a 5-0-1 point streak into tonight's game with San Jose.
Buffalo will be playing the second of a back-to-back, losing 2-1 in New Jersey on Monday night, while the Sharks have been off since Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss at home to Arizona.
***Brent Burns will bring a remarkable eight-game road goal-scoring streak into tonight's game. According to Elias, he is the first defenseman in NHL history to score a goal in eight consecutive road games. The Norris and Hart Trophy candidate continues to lead all NHL defensemen in goals (22) and points (55).
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Logan Couture. Since missing a game in Los Angeles on Jan. 18 due to illness, Couture has at least one point in seven of his last eight games, posting four goals and five assists over that span. His line with Mikkel Boedker and Patrick Marleau has been the Sharks' most consistent over the past couple weeks.
Sabres: Jack Eichel. After missing the first month-and-a-half of the season due to a high ankle sprain, the second-year center has 23 points (12g, 11a) in 31 games. He has been particularly good at home, with 13 points in 14 games at KeyBank Center, including five multi-point efforts.
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Marcus Sorensen – Micheal Haley – Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Marcus Foligno – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Matt Moulson – Ryan O'Reilly – Kyle Okposo
Evander Kane – Zemgus Girgensons – Brian Gionta
Justin Bailey – Nic Deslauriers – Tyler Ennis
Dmitry Kulikov – Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe – Coey Franson
Josh Gorges – Justin Falk
Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.
Sabres: Cody McCormick (blood clots), Johan Larsson (wrist), William Carrier (knee) and Zach Bogosian (ribs) are out.
"Looking forward to the stretch [run] here, and if we can capitalize on a good road trip, that could put us in a pretty good position down the road." – Joel Ward