The San Jose Sharks admittedly didn't play their best hockey early in their past two games, but still recovered to earn victories in both.
A more complete effort from start to finish will be needed for San Jose to post a rare road victory against the Sabres.
The Sharks seek their third straight win overall and just their second ever in Buffalo on Thursday night.
San Jose is 1-12-1 all-time in western New York, and has been outscored 60-38. Besides a porous defense, the Sharks have been plagued by poor penalty killing, allowing Buffalo to score 20 goals in 77 chances with the man advantage.
On Feb. 13, the Sharks allowed three goals less than 12 minutes apart en route to a 3-1 loss in Buffalo in the final game before the Olympics.
However, San Jose enters this contest after overcoming a three-goal, third-period deficit to beat Philadelphia 5-4 in a shootout Wednesday. The Flyers appeared to win the game in the final second of overtime, but the referees declared the puck had not crossed the goal line as time expired.
Rookie Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe scored in the tiebreaker to give the Sharks (14-9-4) their first victory this season when trailing after two periods. The win followed Monday's 5-3 victory at Detroit after San Jose fell behind in the first period.
"We found a way to win and we'll take it," coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday. "It's a great thing for us. I look at the last two games, we didn't have good starts, but we found a way to come back and win."
Couture, who leads all rookies with 13 goals, Jason Demers and Joe Pavelski scored in the third period against the Flyers to help send the game into overtime. Clowe scored and added his fifth assist in four games for the Sharks, who have won three of four and scored 14 goals in that stretch.
Antero Niittymaki, making his first start since Nov. 30, made 31 saves to improve to 9-3-3 with a 2.43 goals-against average this season. It's unclear if Niittymaki or Antti Niemi will start Thursday, but Niittymaki is 0-3-2 with a 4.34 GAA in seven career appearances against the Sabres and has never won in Buffalo
Niemi, meanwhile, has never faced the Sabres.
Ryan Miller's success against San Jose is much better, and he'll likely start against the Sharks. Miller is 3-1-0 with one tie and a 2.53 GAA against San Jose in five career starts.
The US Olympian is coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Tuesday against Boston after two consecutive shutouts. His shutout streak of 161 minutes, 35 seconds ended with a first-period goal by Milan Lucic.
"It's a tough way to lose," Miller said.
Luke Adam netted his first NHL goal and Thomas Vanek scored his team-leading 11th goal for the Sabres (11-13-4), who are 3-1-1 in their last five.
Buffalo forward and former Shark Mike Grier told the Sabres' official website that the matchup should be a good one regardless of San Jose's futility in New York.
"They had a long playoff run (last year) and a trip to Europe (to start this year) so I think they've had a sluggish start and now the points are important to them as they are to us, so it should be an exciting game," he said.
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