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Sabres announce roster for Kraft Hockeyville USA preseason game

Eichel, Dahlin headline Sabres lineup against Columbus

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley said he'd try to cram as many American players into tonight's preseason lineup as possible because it's the annual Kraft Hockeyville USA game.

True to his word, six U.S.-born forwards (Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, Casey Mittelstadt, Justin Bailey, C.J. Smith and Andrew Oglevie) and four U.S.-born defensemen (Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe, Casey Nelson and William Borgen) are on the roster.

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Gionta announces retirement, will take role with Sabres

Former captain played 1,026 games over 16 seasons

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Brian Gionta isn't ready to walk away from the game just yet - at least not completely. 

The former Sabres captain announced his retirement with his wife, Harvest, and several of his former teammates in attendance at KeyBank Center on Monday. He played 1,026 regular-season games and scored 595 points, captained two franchises and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003. 

With that came another announcement: Gionta will continue to work with the Sabres in a developmental role. 

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Smith making most of opportunities at training camp

Forward looks to stand out in crowded field of young players

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

C.J. Smith gives himself the same advice every day: take advantage of opportunities given.

After appearing in the AHL All-Star Game for Rochester as a first-year pro last season, opportunity looms large for Smith at training camp. He's trying to stand out in a crowded field of young forwards who are looking to claim a spot on the NHL roster. 

So far, so good. 

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Sharpen Up: September 24, 2018

Here's what you need to know Monday morning

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Sabres are back at practice today at KeyBank Center. We'll have full coverage for you here.

The preseason continues tomorrow with a special game in Clinton, N.Y. against the Columbus Blue Jackets. It's Kraft Hockeyville USA and the game will air live on NBCSN and on WGR 550 starting at 7 p.m. 

This year, Clinton Arena was selected as the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA after an online vote. The rink will receive $150,000 in upgrades, and there will be festivities and player appearances prior to tomorrow's preseason game.

Here's what you need to know.


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Reinhart tallies 2 points in preseason debut vs. Leafs

Dahlin experiences growing pains; Hutton shows puck-moving skills

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Watching Sam Reinhart set a perfectly-timed screen on Saturday night, it was as if he hadn't missed a beat during his week away from training camp. 

While the Buffalo Sabres did find areas to improve in their 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Reinhart was excellent in his preseason debut. He notched two assists, tallied a team-high six shots and set the screen that led to a power-play goal from Kyle Okposo in the first period. 

"I thought he was one of our best forwards," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "He looked very comfortable, he fit right in. He was on the puck, he was making plays. He was trying to make a difference tonight."

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Sabres assign 7 players to Rochester

Buffalo now has 43 players at training camp

by Sabres PR @SabresPR /

The Sabres have assigned forwards Eric Cornel, Vasily Glotov and Kevin Porter, defensemen Zach Redmond and Devante Stephens and goaltenders Michael Houser and Adam Wilcox to Rochester.

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Reinhart, Bogosian to make preseason debuts at home vs. Leafs

Thompson gets chance on top line; Hutton gets the start in net

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sam Reinhart and Zach Bogosian will make their exhibition debuts when the Buffalo Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs for their final home game of the preseason on Saturday night.

Reinhart and Bogosian returned to practice with the team on Thursday, the former after signing a new two-year contract and the latter after taking time to rest the hip on which he had season-ending surgery in January.  

Phil Housley said the goal for both players in game No. 1 is to simply get adjusted to game speed. 

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Sharpen Up: September 22, 2018

Here's what you need to know before tonight's home preseason game against Toronto

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The final home preseason game is tonight as the Sabres host Toronto at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and you can buy your tickets right here.

Sportsnet's feed of the game will also air on MSG tonight and you can listen to Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray's broadcast if you tune your radio to WGR 550.

Three more preseason games are on the way next week before the season opener on Oct. 4 against the Bruins at KeyBank Center.

Here's what you need to know.


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Sabres respond to slow start, but fall short in Toronto

Young lineup looks to take lessons from loss to Leafs

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

TORONTO - Linus Ullmark offered the most succinct description of the way the Buffalo Sabres began their game at Scotiabank Arena on Friday night. 

"We were off to a really good start," the goaltender said. "And then it turned into a bad start."

Andrew Oglevie opened the scoring for the Sabres thirty seconds into the contest, only to see the Toronto Maple Leafs answer with a barrage of three goals over the next 3:11. The end result was a 5-3 loss, but when it was all said and done the Sabres' response stood out more than the start itself.

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Mittelstadt, Nylander look to reignite chemistry in Toronto

Duo will skate on a line with Tage Thompson

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander built chemistry as linemates during the final game of the Prospects Challenge earlier this month, when they combined for seven points during the Sabres' 10-goal outing against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

They'll have a chance to build on that performance Friday, albeit against stiffer competition. 

Mittelstadt and Nylander will skate on a line with Tage Thompson when the Sabres visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first game of a home-and-home set. They'll be met by a lineup that includes John Tavares, Nazem Kadri and Mitch Marner, among others.

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