Buffalo Sabres vs. San Jose Sharks Pick & Prediction JANUARY 15th 2024

The Buffalo Sabres have struggled all season to find consistent success at home.

Perhaps Monday’s visit from the lowly San Jose Sharks will help the Sabres rebound from their latest frustrating home defeat.

Buffalo is 9-11-1 at home and has yet to win back-to-back games there this season. On Thursday, the Sabres earned a 5-3 home win over Ottawa, only to fall 1-0 versus Vancouver on Saturday — dropping to 1-2-0 during a five-game home stretch.

“A few posts, a few crossbars, a couple saves that I feel goalies normally don’t make … We’re right there,” said Buffalo center Casey Mittelstadt, who leads the team with 24 assists and 35 points.

“I think we’re on the right track. It’s just a matter of we’ve got to get hot soon and get going.”

The Sabres, however, might have a strong opportunity to rebound and grab a victory against San Jose that could possibly start a winning streak. The Sharks own an NHL-low 23 points and have allowed 61 goals while losing 13 of their last 14 overall.

Two nights after winning 3-2 at Montreal to snap a 12-game losing streak, San Jose fell 5-4 at Ottawa on Saturday. The Sharks rallied from an early 2-0 hole to lead 3-2 in the second period but ultimately lost by allowing Vladimir Tarasenko to score the tie-breaking goal with 5 seconds remaining in regulation.

“It’s obviously a tough ending for us,” said San Jose forward Filip Zadina, who scored his fifth goal of the season Saturday. “We had been battling the whole game and played hard. It hurts, but you have to play the full 60 minutes.”

Though competitive in Ottawa, the Sharks were outshot 41-18, marking the eighth time this season they’ve recorded fewer than 20 shots on goal.

“When you’ve had the year we’ve had, you start getting a little bit deflated, regardless of the situation,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “You’re professionals, so you’ve got to shake through it.”

San Jose’s Mackenzie Blackwood (3.84 goals-against average), who ranks among the leaders in shots-on-goal faced (896), made 36 saves Saturday. Meanwhile, teammate Kaapo Kahkonen (3.70 GAA this season) has lost his last seven starts.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2.91 GAA) has started the last two games in net for Buffalo. Sabres rookie Devin Levi has a 3.90 GAA while losing four of his last six starts, and he has a 3.32 GAA in 19 games played this season.

Buffalo star forward Tage Thompson was nicked up against the Senators on Thursday but played 18 minutes against the Canucks. He’s gone without a point in two of the last three games after recording 10 in the previous seven. Forward Jeff Skinner (33 points) could miss a third straight game with an upper-body issue.

San Jose center Tomas Hertl leads the team with 13 goals and 30 points, but he’s failed to score a goal in six consecutive contests.

The puck drop for this matchup was moved up one hour to noon ET after the severe snowstorm and weather conditions in western New York forced Sunday’s NFL wild-card playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the host Buffalo Bills to be moved to 4:30 p.m. ET on Monday. The storm also forced the Sharks to spend Saturday night in Ottawa.

–Field Level Media

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