SHARKS (38-16-6) at SABRES (17-34-8)
TV: NHLN-CA, CSN-CA, MSG-B, BELL TV
Last 10: San Jose 6-4-0; Buffalo 4-5-1
Season series: The Buffalo Sabres defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in a shootout Nov. 5. At the time, the Sabres were 2-13-1 and the Sharks were 10-1-3.
Big story: This is the final home game for the Sabres prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5. Goaltender Ryan Miller will start in what could be his farewell to Buffalo fans.
"I'm trying not to be too sentimental," Miller said Thursday. "I think everyone in Buffalo kind of knows how I feel about the city. [I've] always enjoyed the people, I've always enjoyed the city. There's a deep love for the city in my heart, and I don't think right now is the time to reflect and take that time. It's still time to focus and play hockey and give all I can give. ...
"I'm just trying to enjoy this last stretch, if it is my last stretch."
Sharks: San Jose showed what it's capable of with a healthy lineup in a 7-3 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Forwards Logan Couture and Raffi Torres each scored twice returning from injury.
"That's what happens when you're a family or you're on a team, you get excited for those kind of guys," coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area of Torres. "He's had 5 1/2 months of coming in and seeing the trainers, and the doctors, and the therapy. To go out and get rewarded like that was a boost not only for our team but for him.
"He had a little sparkle in his eye, and then to get the second one, I think he tired himself out a little bit celebrating. We're happy for him."
Sabres: In addition to Miller, forwards Matt Moulson and Steve Ott, and defenseman Henrik Tallinder have been subjects of trade speculation. Despite that, Buffalo has won two in a row coming out of the Olympic break, with wins over the playoff-contending Carolina Hurricanes and Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins.
"All these guys maybe have excuses or reasons to say, 'Hey, it's a matter of time before we leave.' No, they're not doing that," coach Ted Nolan said. "They're paying attention to what they have to do here right now."
Forward Tyler Ennis, the Sabres' second-leading scorer, did not play in the 5-4 overtime win against the Bruins on Wednesday because of soreness. Nolan said he could be back Friday.
"[He's] still a little sore. But hopefully, knock on wood, he'll be ready to go tomorrow," Nolan said. "[It's] still one of those day-to-day things. He was a lot better today, so hopefully you'll have a good chance at seeing him at morning skate and we'll go from there."
Nolan said he feels John Scott is more comfortable as a defenseman rather than at forward, and he will continue to use him there.
Who's hot: Center Joe Pavelski had a hat trick Thursday and has a career-high 32 goals. Couture has a six-game point streak dating to Dec. 29. Forward Tommy Wingels has a four-game streak. … Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has four points in his past three games, including two goals in the 3-2 victory against the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Moulson has a goal and four assists in a four-game point streak.
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