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Lehner returns to the the ice, expects to be ready for Thursday

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

With another day to practice ahead of their game in Detroit on Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres stayed off the ice on Tuesday morning, opting instead to report to KeyBank Center for a stretch and a team meeting. 

The one Sabre who did take the ice was goalie Robin Lehner, back after taking the day off on Monday to nurse a hip injury. Lehner said he expects to be a full participant in practice on Wednesday and should be ready to return in Detroit. 

"I pulled my one hip earlier in the season," Lehner said. "It's been a little bit back and forth. I pulled it against Colorado and just kept going through it. Eventually I just needed to fix it."

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Amerks to play at KeyBank Center on Wednesday

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

The Amerks took four out of a possible six points over the weekend, which began with a 12-3 rout of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night. Rochester has collected at least one point in 36 of its last 45 games dating back to Nov. 1, including 14 of its last 18 games since the turn of the New Year.

For the sixth straight year, the Amerks make the trek down the New York State Thruway to play in the home of the Buffalo Sabres. On Wednesday, they'll host the Syracuse Crunch in a North Division showdown at the KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo. 

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Sharpen Up: February 20, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres couldn't rally all the way back from a 3-1 deficit yesterday. Kyle Okposo and Evander Kane were Buffalo's goal scorers in a 3-2 loss to Washington. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Second period proves costly as comeback falls short vs. Capitals

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

As the dying seconds ticked off the clock at KeyBank Center on Monday afternoon, Evander Kane found himself alone at the side of the net. Ryan O'Reilly made a quick pass to find him through a pair of defenders, and Kane lifted the puck into the net uncontested. 

The goal was scored with 3.3 seconds remaining. There was no raucous cheer from the crowd, no late-game celebration on the ice. For the Buffalo Sabres, it was another example of a push made too late, a footnote in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals.

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With Lehner nursing injury, Sabres turn to Johnson against Caps

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

With Robin Lehner nursing a lower-body injury, the Buffalo Sabres will turn to Chad Johnson to start in net against the Washington Capitals on Monday afternoon. Linus Ullmark has been recalled from Rochester to serve as backup. 

Sabres coach Phil Housley said that Lehner is day-to-day. 

"It's just one of those things that's built up," he said. "He's taking a day off today."

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Hagel on point-per-game pace for Red Deer since return from injury

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

It has been at times a tough season to navigate, but Red Deer Rebels forward Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) has himself back on the map as a peak performer after capturing nine points last week.

Hagel erupted for a four-assist effort Monday, the second four-helper game of his WHL career, to boost Red Deer to a 4-0 victory at Prince George.

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Sharpen Up: February 19, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres and Capitals will go head to head today at KeyBank Center. It's a 3 p.m. faceoff and Buffalo will be suited up in their Winter Classic-themed uniforms. If you're coming to the game, don't miss out on the Winter Classic jersey towel giveaway when you walk in.

Watching from home? The GMC Game Night pregame show starts at 2:30 on MSG. Then at 3, RJ and Rayzor will have a unique perspective as they'll be calling the game from Section 108 today.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Sabres recall Ullmark from Rochester

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans (AHL).

Ullmark (6'4, 221 lbs., 7/31/1993) joins the Sabres for his second recall of the season after stopping 44 of 45 shots faced in a 3-1 win vs. Columbus on Jan. 11 in his only NHL appearance of the season. He has recorded an 18-9-10 record in 36 AHL games this season, posting career-best numbers in save percentage (.924) and goals-against average (2.43) in his third AHL season. 

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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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