The San Jose Sharks have been on a long road trip. A really long road trip.
It's a five-game, 11-day East Coast swing for the Sharks, ending Saturday afternoon in KeyBank Center when they play the Buffalo Sabres at 1 p.m.
San Jose is 2-2-0 on the road trip with wins at New Jersey (3-0) and the Rangers (4-1) and losses at the Islanders (5-3) and Boston (2-1).
The 2-1 loss to the Bruins came on Thursday. The lone goal for the Sharks came on the power play, a tally by Joe Thorton. San Jose had four power plays that game and produced the one goal on 10 shots. But it also included a shorthanded goal against and was overall a disappointing part of the Sharks' game.
Heading into Friday night's schedule of games, the Sharks had the 10th-best power play in the NHL (21.6 percent).
"I don't know what it is, just seems like it's out of rhythm," Sharks forward Logan Couture said about the power play to the media after the game in Boston. "When I'm on the ice, seems like guys aren't in the right spots. We're not really creating as much as we're used to creating."
Speaking of Couture, he has nine points in his last five games with three of those last five games being multi-point efforts. He was the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Oct. 22.
After an off day on Thursday, the Sabres were back at practice Friday in HarborCenter. The team had a few new line combinations:
Evander Kane-Jack Eichel-Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot-Ryan O'Reilly-Kyle Okposo
Sam Reinhart-Zemgus Girgensons-Justin Bailey
Matt Moulson-Johann Larsson-Jordan Nolan/Seth Griffith
The shake up continued when the team practiced the power play. Eichel was off the top unit, skating instead with the second group of Okposo, Kane, Victor Antipin and Marco Scandella.
The top unit was Pominville, O'Reilly, Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Matt Tennyson.
Defensive pairings at practice were:
Justin Falk-Taylor Fedun
Speaking of Falk, it was the second practice for the defender who has not played yet this season because of an undisclosed injury.
"Falk's close," Sabres coach Phil Housley said Friday afternoon. "He had a really solid practice today. That's a day-to-day situation."
Fellow blueliner Zach Bogosian had an evaluation done on his lower body injury that has kept him sidelined since training camp.
"He's making some good progress," Housley said of Bogosian. "I'd still say it's a week-to-week at this point right now. He's still making strides forward. He continues to push himself and we're just going to have to focus on the daily evaluation with him."
Speaking of the defense, the Sabres are still looking for their first goal from a defender. While Housley said the team needs to find some offense from the blue line, he's noted progress.
"They're certainly making strides," Housley said of the D-corps. "We want to have them add to the offense. For me, it's still early just understanding the reads of a D-man getting involved in the offense. Sometimes we're getting in too early, sometimes we're getting in too late. As we move forward we're going to continue to work on that but obviously the defense is a big part of our attack."
The Sabres are partnering with Roswell Park to offer a free prostate cancer early detection event on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 4-7 p.m. in the Lexus Club in KeyBank Center.
Participants can meet Sabres alumni, get a behind-the-scenes tour of KeyBank Center, and get free parking.
Eligible men – age 50-75 who have not been tested in the past year and men 40-49 who have never had a PSA test – have the opportunity to get tested for prostate cancer by Roswell Park physicians.
Registration is available online or by calling Roswell Park Cancer Institute at 1-877-275-7724.