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GIONTA: Discussing the NHL bye week

by Brian Gionta @Giostyle21 / Sabres.com

Before the Sabres took off for the bye week, Brian Gionta shared his thoughts with Sabres.com on what the week off has meant for the schedule and how the team was able to get through its stretch of 11 games in 18 days. 

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the bye week yet. I'm kind of on the fence. It compresses the schedule a lot in another areas, so I'm not sure if the five-day break makes up for not having the two or three days we normally have between games every once in a while.

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Mullen scores three goals as Amerks take 1 of 3

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

The Rochester Americans came away from a three-in-three weekend with only one win, but they'll have additional help when they look to rebound in Buffalo.

The Amerks will visit KeyBank Center for the first time this season to host the Utica Comets on Wednesday night, and they'll do so with the help of Justin Bailey, Evan Rodrigues and Nicholas Baptiste after the trio of players were reassigned to Rochester on Monday morning. 

You can purchase tickets for that game here, but before we look ahead to Wednesday, let's take a look at the last week down in Rochester. 

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Sharpen Up: February 21, 2017

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

It's been one full day since the Sabres last played. When your head hits the pillow tonight, it will mark the first time this month that the Sabres have gone two days in a row without a game. 

In other words, if watching the Sabres has become a bi-daily routine for you during this busy month and the bye week already feels like an episode of Survivorman, we don't blame you. 

So, how do you keep busy when you can't watch the Sabres? Here are a few ideas: 

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Sabres assign Bailey, Baptiste, Rodrigues to Amerks

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned forwards Justin Bailey, Nicholas Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

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Sharpen Up: February 20, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres enter the bye week with 62 points after 60 games and are within striking distance of a playoff spot. They're four points behind Boston with one more game played for third place in the Atlantic Division and three points back of Toronto with two more games play for the second and final Wild Card spot.

It's been a busy three weeks for the Sabres as last night's loss to Chicago wrapped up a 12-game-in-20-day stretch since the All-Star Break. They went 6-5-1 over that span that includes a 4-2-0 record over the last nine days. 

That's a lot of hockey. And although they have a few days off now, the pace doesn't lighten up much once they come back. They play seven games in 11 days after the bye, starting Saturday night at Colorado. 

It's going to be one heck of a ride. 

Here's what you need to know.

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Sabres focus on big picture after 5-1 loss to Chicago

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

One of the keys that was preached within the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room during a stretch of four wins in five games entering Sunday was the ability to forget. They didn't ride the highs of their victories; they simply took the wins for what they were and looked ahead to the next opponent.  

The same goes for the losses, and the Sabres will have a whole five days to forget about their 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday evening. Buffalo begins its bye week on Monday and won't play again until their game in Colorado on Saturday.

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Sabres look to extend win streak vs. Blackhawks

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

It's with a bit of irony that the newly-implemented bye week in the NHL, a break instituted to give players more time off during the season, has also been responsible for making teams busier on a day-to-day basis. The Sabres will begin their bye week on Monday, but they also had to play 11 games in the first 19 days of February to get there.

Before they can think about taking time off, they have game No. 11 of that stretch awaiting them against the Chicago Blackhawks at KeyBank Center on Sunday. The Sabres, sitting two points behind Boston for the second wild card berth, are looking for their first four-game win streak of the season.

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Sabres assign Fedun to Rochester

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned defenseman Taylor Fedun to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

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Sharpen Up: February 19, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Coming off a big win yesterday, the Buffalo Sabres are going at it again tonight with the Chicago Blackhawks in town. It's a 6 p.m. faceoff on NBCSN. Dan and Rayzor have the call on WGR 550. 

The Sabres downed the Blues 3-2 in the Saturday afternoon affair with Evander Kane and Nicholas Baptiste both picking up a goal and an assist. Ryan O'Reilly scored what turned out to be the winner with 32 seconds left in the second period on the power play. 

It snapped St. Louis' six-game winning streak and Buffalo is now looking for its first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9 to 15, 2014.

Here's what you need to know.

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Kane, Baptiste tally 2 points each in win over Blues

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

If the season-long struggles of the Colorado Avalanche made the win on Thursday for the Buffalo Sabres any less convincing, then their test against a St. Louis team that rode a six-game winning streak into town on Saturday afternoon was an opportunity for Buffalo to really show what it's made of. 

The Sabres overcame a slow first few minutes and then thrived in two areas that have been their Achilles heels all season - the second period and the penalty kill - to grind out a 3-2 victory over the Blues, extending their own winning streak to three games. 

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