San Jose (37-7-8) at Buffalo (28-21-6), 7:30 p.m. EST
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) — The San Jose Sharks are in
uncharted territory – mired in an extensive slump.
Evgeni Nabokov will likely be in goal as the Western
Conference-leading Sharks, who have lost four of five, visit the
Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Nabokov had started 10 games in a row – including Tuesday’s 5-2
setback to the Boston Bruins. He sat in favor of Brian Boucher
the next night, when San Jose fizzled in a 2-1 shootout loss to
the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 33-year-old Nabokov is 28-6-6 with a 2.41 goals-against
average in 40 contests this season and will need to be on top of
his game if he intends on keeping the Sharks from falling to
1-3-0 on their current five-game trek.
Despite its struggles, San Jose has earned at least a point in
each of the first three games of its swing.
Buffalo, which is coming off back-to-back losses to the lowly
Ottawa Senators, is 13-11-4 on the road.
The Sabres continue to adjust to life without All-Star Thomas
Vanek, who missed his first game in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss with a
fractured jaw that will keep him out at least three weeks.