By John Vogl
SAN FRANCISCO -- As Amy Moritz wrote for today's paper, Buffalo players understand the benefits that can come with extended road trips, like the one the Sabres begin tonight at San Jose. She also noted the Sabres will face San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim — teams with a combined record of 30-10-4.
On paper, it's a mismatch tonight. The Sharks are 10-1-3 overall and 5-0-1 at home. The Sabres are 2-13-1, with a 2-5 road record.
Here are some Sharks notes for the morning in Buffalo and the early morning in California:
*Two San Jose Sharks were recognized by the NHL for having stellar months of October, helping the Sharks earn 22 of a possible 26 points. Antti Niemi was named the NHL’s Third Star for the month, posting a 9-1-2 record with a 1.72 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts. Tomas Hertl led all rookies with eight goals and 11 points in 13 games and was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October.
*Joe Thornton recorded his 800th career assist on Nov. 2 vs. Phoenix, becoming just the 30th player in NHL history and the second active player (Jaromir Jagr) to record 800 or more helpers. Thornton also made his Sharks debut against Buffalo on Dec. 2, 2005 and recorded two assists in the Sharks first-ever win in Buffalo. The Sharks captain also skated in his 700th career NHL game vs. Buffalo on Dec. 8, 2007.
*The Sharks lead the league in goals scored (53) and goal differential (plus-26). San Jose also leads the NHL in average shots per game (37.4), is third in fewest shots against (24.8) and has recorded 50 shots or more three times this season.
*In five of their 14 games this season, the Sharks have scored within the first minute of the game. In addition, Tomas Hertl scored at 1:16 on Oct. 27 at Ottawa. The Sabres have given up the opening goal in 14 of their 16 games.