Sabres Notebook: Team failure, personal success versus Sharks; defense needs accuracy - The Buffalo News

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Sabres Notebook: Team failure, personal success versus Sharks; defense needs accuracy

Unless they meet in the Stanley Cup final, the Sabres won't play San Jose again this season. That's a good thing for the team, but a few players might be disappointed.

Buffalo is done with the Sharks after a 3-2 loss Saturday in KeyBank Center. The Sabres lost by the same score Oct. 12 in San Jose.

It's quite the downturn. The Sabres have lost three in a row to San Jose after going 10-0-1 in the previous 11 meetings.

Still, a few players continue to have success against the Sharks:

*Jason Pominville scored Saturday, giving him three goals and five points in his last four games against San Jose.

*Kyle Okposo earned an assist, running his totals to five goals, nine assists and 14 points in 12 career meetings.

*Jack Eichel earned an assist and has five helpers and six points in the last four meetings.

With disallowed goal and smashed stick, not ideal 21st birthday for Sabres' Eichel

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Sabres defensemen put 10 shots on net. They also had eight attempts that missed the net or got blocked.

Coach Phil Housley is aiming for improved accuracy.

"Our D corps in general have made strides in that area, finding some holes and getting pucks to the net," Housley said. "I think we're trying to get too fine in that area. We should just be thinking about putting pucks on net and making it difficult for the goalie, then our forwards get in that interior and try to get a tip or a second chance.

"We're going to continue to focus on that area of our game."

Taylor Fedun was the healthy scratch on defense against the Sharks, and the Sabres sent him to Rochester following the game.

The Wraparound: Sharks 3, Sabres 2

Injured Justin Falk skated in the morning for his second straight day on the ice.

"He had a good practice," Housley said. "Moving forward he'll be a day-to-day decision, but it's certainly good to see him practice. He's heading in the right direction."

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The Sabres won 52 percent of the faceoffs, boosting their season total to 50.4 percent. O'Reilly won 15 of 28 and is fifth in the NHL at 61.7 percent.

Johan Larsson (50 percent) is the only other regular in the circle who's even or better. Sam Reinhart is at 43 percent. Eichel and Kane are at 40.4 percent.

"Ryan's done a terrific job," Housley said. "We have to get better in that area as centermen. We have to get in their quicker and be ready to battle. Even our wingers now with the throw-out rule, it seems like everybody's getting tossed out. Our wingers have to be ready."

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Goaltender Robin Lehner and his wife, Donya, welcomed a baby girl Friday. She was born almost three years to the day after her brother, Lennox, who was born Oct. 30, 2014.

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