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Sabres' Rolston on Sharks: 'This is the deepest lineup we'll face'

By John Vogl

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- There may not be a more lopsided matchup in the NHL than what's on tap tonight. Here are some numbers as the 10-1-3 San Jose Sharks prepare to host the 2-13-1 Sabres:

*The Sharks average 3.7 goals per game and allow 1.8. The Sabres score 1.6 and give up 3.1.

*The Sharks have a 19-8 scoring edge in first periods. The Sabres have been outscored, 20-2.

*The Sharks average 37.4 shots per game and allow 24.8. The Sabres take 24.8 and give up 35.5.

*San Jose's power play ranks eighth at 21.5 percent, and the penalty kill is fifth at 86.4 percent. The Sabres' power play is 24th at 12.5 percent, and the penalty kill is 12th at 83.0 percent.

*The Sharks have seven players with at least 10 points (Logan Couture 16, Joe Pavelski 16, Patrick Marleau 15, Joe Thornton 14, Tomas Hertl 11, Marc-Edouard Vlasic 10 and Tommy Wingels 10). The Sabres have two (Matt Moulson 13 and Cody Hodgson 12).

"This is the deepest lineup we’ll face," Sabres coach Ron Rolson said today in SAP Center. "They’ve got three centers and lines that could be the first line on any team in the league."

The Sabres, obviously, have a challenge ahead.

"They have a good core group of guys that’s been there for years," Buffalo defenseman Henrik Tallinder said. "They bring in young guys that are ready to play in the NHL, ready to take the next step. That’s what they’re doing well."

The Sabres will use Ryan Miller in net against the Sharks' Antti Niemi, who is 9-1-3 with a 1.73 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Miller, who spent part of his childhood in San Jose, is 6-1-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .935 save percentage in his career against the Sharks.

"It’s going to be more about we do tonight and how we come out, what kind of start and how we want to prepare for the game," Pavelski said. "It’s important we know where they’re at, we know where we’re at.

"They’ve won a few games. They’ve got good goaltending. Their PK has been good. They have the ingredients to give teams tough times. It’s up to us at the end of the day and how we respond."

The Sabres' lineup will be:

Moulson-Hodgson-Tyler Ennis

Steve Ott-Marcus Foligno-Corey Tropp

Zemgus Girgensons-Johan Larsson-Brian Flynn

Ville Leino-Cody McCormick-Drew Stafford

Christian Ehrhoff-Mark Pysyk

Tallinder-Tyler Myers

Jamie McBain-Rasmus Ristolainen.

It's all-Russian scratch night with forward Mikhail Grigorenko and defenseman Nikita Zadorov sitting.

No matter who plays for the Sabres, it's an ugly matchup on paper.

"The most important paper will be the one that shows up on our desk after the game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We’ve got our work cut out for us today."

Ron Rolston


Henrik Tallinder | San Jose Sharks
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |