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Sabres say more emotion is necessary to begin games

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

For 20 minutes on Saturday afternoon, the Buffalo Sabres looked like a team to be reckoned with. They outshot the Los Angeles Kings 18-6 and outscored them 2-0. It was the type of performance that could have won them a game, had it begun 40 minutes sooner.

What changed in the third period of that loss to the Kings, a game they trailed 4-0 by the second intermission? According to Nathan Beaulieu, it had a lot to do with emotion.

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Sabres lament slow start following loss to Kings

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

With his team prepping to face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday morning, Phil Housley stressed the idea that the Buffalo Sabres would need to brace themselves for an early push. The Kings came to Buffalo with an eye on keeping their playoff hopes intact after three-straight road losses. 

The push came, but the Sabres were unprepared. The Kings scored one goal on 19 shots in the first period and added three more goals in the second on their way to a 4-2 win at KeyBank Center. Housley said afterward that he felt his players had been unready to play. 

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Nolan, Falk return to lineup against Kings

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Jordan Nolan will get another chance to play his former team when the Buffalo Sabres host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. Nolan, a healthy scratch the past two games, will enter the lineup in place of Nicholas Baptiste.

Justin Falk will be in for Josh Gorges on defense. 

Baptiste scored a goal against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, his first game since being recalled on Sunday. He was held without a shot in his next game, in Ottawa on Thursday. 

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Sharpen Up: February 17, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres take on the Kings today at KeyBank Center. It's not too late to get your tickets (A special Kids Day offer is available here). 

Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and if you'll be watching from home, you can catch the GMC Game Night pregame show at 12:30 on MSG. Dan and Rayzor will have the call on MSG and WGR 550.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Sabres have relied on scoring depth in Eichel's absence

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Jack Eichel was on an offensive tear before he sustained a high-ankle sprain during the first period of Buffalo's game against the Bruins on Feb. 9. With the team's leading scorer out of the lineup indefinitely, it was easy to wonder where the goals and assists would come from. As it turns out, the production has come from just about everywhere. 

Including that game against Boston, Buffalo has scored 15 goals in four games without Eichel, and it's not just the big names who have been contributing. Ten of 13 forwards have recorded a point, as well as five of seven defensemen who have dressed.

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Sharpen Up: February 16, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres managed to earn a point last night, but they gave up a late lead in the third period in a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa. The loss snapped a four-game road winning streak, but Buffalo does have points in five straight on the road since they went 4-0-1 in March 2012.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Lehner's strong effort comes up short in OT loss to Sens

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

OTTAWA - It was the kind of game that a team likes to win for its goaltender. The Buffalo Sabres were far from at their best against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, but still looked primed to steal a win late in the game thanks to a stellar night in net from Robin Lehner.

Instead, they had to settle for a point. Derick Brassard scored for Ottawa to tie the game with 30.9 seconds remaining in regulation and Mike Hoffman beat Lehner with a one-time shot from deep in the right faceoff circle in overtime, clinching a 3-2 win for the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. 

Lehner began the night with 5-0-2 record against his former club, and he made several key saves to keep the Sabres in a game in which they were outshot 36-25.

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Lehner gets the nod as Sabres look to extend road streak in Ottawa

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

OTTAWA - Since he joined the Buffalo Sabres back in the summer of 2015, Robin Lehner has shown a knack for playing well against the team that drafted him. In nine games against the Ottawa Senators, Lehner has gone 5-0-2 with a .955 save percentage and 1.39 goals-against average. 

Phil Housley took those numbers into account when choosing his starter on Thursday, and while some thought was given to sticking with Chad Johnson after he earned a win over Tampa Bay, it will be Lehner who gets the nod in Ottawa once again.

The Sabres enter the night with points in nine-straight games against the Senators, with a 7-0-2 record in that span. Given where the Senators are at in their season, Lehner said not to expect a 10th-straight point to come easy.

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Sharpen Up: February 15, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Buffalo is in Canada tonight for a game against the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres are coming off a big 5-3 win over Tampa on Tuesday where Ryan O'Reilly posted three points. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

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When it comes to faceoffs, O'Reilly's season has been one for the books

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Kyle Okposo still remembers the moment he learned of Ryan O'Reilly's prowess in the faceoff circle, a lesson he had to learn the hard way. Okposo was still with the New York Islanders, who found themselves trailing but pushing to come back with a 6-on-5 advantage.

Okposo was called upon three times to take draws in that situation, and all three times he found himself matched up with O'Reilly. 

"He won three dead clean," Okposo recalled Wednesday morning. 

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