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Johnson gets the nod in return to Calgary

Baptiste, Beaullieu to enter lineup

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

CALGARY - Chad Johnson is all too familiar with the experience of facing a former organization. An eight-year career spanning six NHL clubs (including two tours with the Sabres) will do that to a goaltender, although there will be an added element when he starts in net against the Calgary Flames on Monday. 

The game not only marks Johnson's first matchup with the Flames since leaving their organization, it also represents a return to his hometown. 

"I've had a lot of ex-teams so far along my way," Johnson said. "I think coming home, regardless if I had played for the Flames or not, it's always special being able to play in your hometown. But obviously having played here and had some success and friends on the team … it's always exciting to be back here, but a little more special knowing last year and how it went."

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Budik remains hot for Prince Albert after stellar World Juniors showing

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) is putting together the most productive stretch of his Western Hockey League career on the heels of his rock-solid, five-assist showing with the Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

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Sharpen Up: January 22, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres are on the road tonight in Calgary. Join us for the GMC Game Night pregame show starting at 8:30 p.m. on MSG. Then Dan and RJ have the call at 9 on MSG and WGR 550. 

Here's what you need to know. 

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Sabres hold high-intensity practice before leaving for Western Canada

Sabres mourn Johannson; Two players return to practice

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Phil Housley said following a 7-1 loss on Saturday that if the Buffalo Sabres weren't going to work hard in front of their home crowd, then they'd have to make up for it in practice. They did so on Sunday in an intense, fast-paced session at HarborCenter.

For the majority of the 45-minute practice, the Sabres skated with the puck. For the last few minutes, they skated without it. 

"We don't deserve anything else," goaltender Robin Lehner said. "It's frustrating for a lot of people, because we have a structure in place, we have a game plan in place and we're just not doing it. So, we've got to practice until we learn."

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Sabres unhappy with lack of work in loss to Stars

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

From another slow start to a string of four unanswered goals to end the game, the Buffalo Sabres were left searching for answers following a 7-1 loss to the Dallas Stars at KeyBank Center on Saturday afternoon. 

According to some of their veteran leaders, they need look no further than to the performance of their opponent. Quite simply, they said, the Sabres were outworked by the Stars. 

"If anything, I think we should take example of the way they compete, the way they play, the way they don't give up much," Jason Pominville said. "A typical example of a [Ken] Hitchcock team, playing in arguably the toughest division in the league.

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Sabres to roll same lineup vs. Dallas

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Robin Lehner will get the nod in net for the Buffalo Sabres when they host the Dallas Stars at KeyBank Center on Saturday afternoon. Phil Housley said the lineup will remain the same from Buffalo's 4-3 loss to New York on Thursday night, meaning Nicholas Baptiste and Victor Antipin will be scratched. 

That also means another opportunity for defenseman Casey Nelson, who took two penalties in 12:46 in his season debut against the Rangers. Housley said the first penalty - which occurred early in the first period - might have put the young defenseman on his heels, but he liked his game overall.

"I think it's just more or less taking care of our own end first," Housley said. "All those things will take care of themselves … Hopefully this game he'll get back to what got him up here, and it's just good puck movement, getting back to the puck first and defending well."

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Sharpen Up: January 20, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

This afternoon, it's the Sabres and Stars live from KeyBank Center. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550 with Dan and Rayzor on the call. Watching from home? Check out the GMC Game Night pregame show with Duffer and Marty starting at 12:30 on MSG.

And it's a special Kids Day Game at the arena so children in attendance should be on the lookout for a drawstring backpack giveaway today courtesy of BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York when they enter the gates. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

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Baptiste hopes two-way game can translate to NHL

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Look at the numbers alone, and one might think Nicholas Baptiste has taken a step back in his second pro season. The 22-year-old forward has scored seven goals and 10 assists in 34 games for Rochester, not quite on pace to match his 59-game total of 41 points (25+16) he set as a rookie last season. 

In the big picture though, Baptiste believes he's taken a step forward. He's maintained his status as a top-line presence in Rochester, but has developed in other areas - chiefly on the penalty kill and in the defensive zone - to show he can be trusted at the NHL level. 

It appears that the organization agrees. With the team in need of an extra body up front, Baptiste was recalled on Friday morning. 

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Sabres recall Baptiste from Rochester

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled forward Nicholas Baptiste from the Rochester Americans (AHL).

Baptiste (6'1", 205 lbs., 8/4/1995) joins the Sabres for the second time this season after appearing in four games for the team in November. The Ottawa, Ontario native has recorded 17 points (7+10) in 34 games during his third professional season with the Amerks.

Selected by Buffalo in the third round (69th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Baptiste made his NHL debut last season, recording four points (3+1) in 14 games with the Sabres.

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Sharpen Up: January 19, 2018

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

They came back on three occasions, but a late goal from New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich proved to be the difference in a 4-3 loss for the Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. 

Kyle Okposo, Justin Falk and Rasmus Ristolainen scored goals for the Sabres to erase deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, respectively. Ristolainen's goal - a shot through traffic on the power play - tied the game at 3-3 with 5:01 remaining, only for Buchnevich to answer with the game-winning goal barely a minute later. 

Robin Lehner made 29 saves for Buffalo.

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