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Sabres cap Prospects Challenge with 10-goal effort vs. Pens

Asplund, Nylander lead with 4 points each

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

If only we could all be as productive to start our weeks as the Buffalo Sabres were on Monday afternoon.

The Sabres dominated their way to a 10-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Prospects Challenge finale, an encouraging end to the tournament for a group of young players looking to stake their claims at NHL roster spots when training camp opens on Thursday. 

"I think overall it was a great weekend," Sabres general manage Jason Botterill said. "Just the atmosphere in the building on Friday and Saturday night certainly got our players excited, and I really liked the effort from the entire team.

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Sabres hope to take lessons from Prospects Challenge loss to Bruins

Luukkonen impresses in net; Glotov scores for Buffalo

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sabres/Bruins Highlights 9/8/18

Prospects Challenge Highlights: BUF vs. BOS

Highlights from Buffalo's 3-1 loss to Boston at the Prospects Challenge

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Following a night in which they put on a show in front of a sellout crowd at Harborcenter, the Buffalo Sabres were unable to generate offense against an experienced Boston Bruins team in their second game of the Prospects Challenge on Saturday. 

While the outcome was unfavorable - a 3-1 loss - the lesson was valuable. Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor said afterward that the difference between this outing and the one 24 hours prior, when the Sabres put up six goals against New Jersey, came down to his players simply trying to do too much. 

"That was a good team," Taylor said. "It was very valuable. A team like that, you can't turn pucks over at the blue line, they're going to come back at you. Like I said, a lot of individualized play for us. I didn't think we were as physical, especially in front of the net. We couldn't sustain to be there. 

"We had a couple good shots there, a couple rebounds. We've got to fight a little bit harder to get to those areas and get those second and third opportunities."

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Borgen looks to repeat physical performance against Bruins

Pekar explains move to OHL; Guhle to play against Bruins

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Stop us if you've heard this before: The Buffalo Sabres boast a defense prospect who exudes a laid-back, calm demeanor off the ice but transforms into a wrecking ball once he laces up his skates. 

That Jekyll-and-Hyde description has been used on plenty of occasions to describe Rasmus Dahlin, who's as quiet and humble off the ice as he is electric on it. But according to Chris Taylor, the same can be said about Dahlin's defense partner in Friday's opening game of the Prospects Challenge. 

That person is Will Borgen, and he'll be back alongside Dahlin when the Sabres meet the prospects from the Boston Bruins at Harborcenter on Saturday night. 

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Dahlin scores pair of goals in Prospects Challenge win over Devils

Nylander, Thompson score shorthanded; Olofsson shows off his shot

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It took one shift for Rasmus Dahlin to show a packed crowd at Harborcenter what kind of night he had in store for them on Friday, when the Buffalo Sabres opened the Prospects Challenge against the New Jersey Devils. 

Dahlin led a rush up the ice on the very first shift of the game, crossing the blue line with possession and firing a shot wide of the net. Moments prior, the defenseman had been greeted coming out of the tunnel to a sellout crowd of 1,800-plus, many of them wearing his No. 26 jersey.

"I was excited, so I wanted to score a goal," he said afterward. 

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Nylander looking to make most of opportunity at Prospects Challenge

Forward will skate with Asplund and Olofsson against New Jersey

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

For young players looking to make an impression at training camp with the Buffalo Sabres, the Prospects Challenge serves as a springboard. It's a chance to shake off the rust against top prospects from three organizations, an advantage their veteran counterparts won't have when camp opens next week. 

Nobody knows the importance of this weekend better than Alex Nylander. Nylander arrived in Buffalo at this time last year bigger and stronger than he had been in the spring, his sights set on securing an NHL roster spot as a second-year pro. His development stood out during a practice with his fellow prospects. 

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Dahlin to play first games as a Sabre at Prospects Challenge

Dahlin skates with Borgen; Nylander impresses at practice

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

If Rasmus Dahlin has any nerves regarding his first NHL training camp, he certainly does a good job of hiding them. With the Prospects Challenge set to begin Friday and camp opening in exactly one week, the defenseman was his usual humble, joyful self when he met with the media on Thursday. 

It's the same vibe Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor, who's leading the Sabres prospects this weekend, got from Dahlin on the ice at practice.

"He just comes to the rink and loves the game," Taylor. "I just think he loves the game. That's what we need, people like that who love the game, want to come out there and practice, get better every day. I'm excited to see him tomorrow."

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Pekar, Mittelstadt among standouts at French Connection Tournament

Olofsson shows off shot; Guhle wins leadership award

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Matej Pekar said earlier this month that as recently as last September, the idea of being drafted into the NHL seemed like a pipe dream. It makes sense, then, that the fourth-round pick had it in his mind to do anything he could to stick out at his first development camp in Buffalo. 

That included getting under the skin of the most talented players on the ice, which in this case included Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt. That strategy put Pekar in the spotlight on Friday, when Dahlin flattened him with an open-ice hit that would spend the next 24 hours making rounds on social media.

"Even Czech national TV was posting it, so it was kind of funny," Pekar said.

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On and off the ice, Dahlin inspired at development camp

Top draft pick turned heads during week in Buffalo

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Upon arriving in Buffalo for development camp earlier this week, Rasmus Dahlin said the first item on his agenda when he returns to Sweden would be meeting with his friends and enjoying their company. Who could blame him? With all the hype he's dealt with over the past month, he deserves a break. 

Dahlin is still looking forward to getting back home, but hearing him speak at the conclusion of camp on Saturday made it sound as if he's already itching to get back to Buffalo. The defenseman called it the best trip of his life, thanks in no small a part to the people who were here to welcome him.

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In his own words: Fitzgerald on the importance of development camp

Boston College co-captain says off-ice lessons are as important as on-ice sessions

by Casey Fitzgerald @CaseyFitz97 / Special to

Defensive prospect Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) shares what his week has been like during Sabres development camp presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York with

Hands down, the biggest honor of my career was being selected as captain at Boston College last season. I was one of two captains for our team along with Chris Brown, who's also here at development camp with the Sabres.

Our team had no senior class, so Chris and I were named captains as juniors. I was honored because it's not just coaches who select the captain, it's not just the staff. It's the players. Whoever the players feel is the captain, that's who's going to be captain. That also means it's a major responsibility. 

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