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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on February 1, 2020

Buffalo takes on Columbus at 1 p.m. at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets will square off today at KeyBank Center. It's a Kids Day Game, so be ready for a 1 p.m. faceoff. Pregame coverage on MSG will begin at 12:30.

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Today's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Columbus defeated Buffalo 4-3 (OT) in Columbus on Oct. 7, 2019
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 13 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 4-5-1 at home.

 

  • The Sabres are 4-1-2 in afternoon games this season, including a 4-1-0 record at home.

 

  • Today's game is the third in a 20-day stretch during which the Sabres will play nine of 10 games at home. The lone road game during that span will take place on Feb. 7 at NY Rangers.
  • The team is averaging 3.28 goals per game at home this season, which would mark Buffalo's best home scoring rate since the 2007-08 season (3.39).

 

  • Jack Eichel has been held without a point in just three of his last 32 games played. During that stretch, which began with a four-goal performance vs. Ottawa on Nov. 16, Buffalo's captain has totaled 45 points (22+23) in 32 appearances, also missing one game due to injury.

 

Friday's practice

Video: Friday's practice report

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

Kyle Okposo will miss Saturday's home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with an upper-body injury, Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger announced Friday.

Okposo sustained the injury during the first period of Buffalo's loss to Montreal on Thursday. Krueger said the ailment is not head related. 

"He's being evaluated today and we're withholding the final decisions or the final information until we have 100 percent certainty," Krueger said. "But at the moment it's just the game tomorrow and we'll confirm that probably tomorrow." 

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Jack Eichel

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Ralph Krueger

The Sabres recalled Jean-Sebastien Dea prior to practice on Friday to round out their group of 12 forwards. Dea previously appeared in one game for the Buffalo, skating 5:53 against Calgary on Nov. 27. He leads Rochester with 30 points in 41 games. 

Buffalo also practiced without defensemen Zach Bogosian (illness) and Brandon Montour (maintenance day). Montour will be available to play Saturday, while Bogosian's recovery is expected to take "a couple of days," according to Krueger.

Click here for the full practice report.

 

Bald for Bucks campaign begins today

Video: Bald For Bucks 2020 Launch Video

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will be partnering with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and their Bald for Bucks initiative throughout the month of February to raise funds for critical cancer research and patient-care programs.

As part of the effort, the Sabres and Roswell Park will be releasing a limited-edition Bald for Bucks T-shirt with a Sabres Golden Season theme. Donors who contribute $50 or more will receive the T-shirt and have the chance to win autographed merchandise, tickets to future Sabres and Buffalo Bandits games, and meet-and-greet opportunities.

Click here for more details.

If you're attending today's game and make at least a $50 donation, you could win the chance to meet Rasmus Dahlin afterwards.

Prior to the Sabres' home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, March 5, Sabres studio analyst Martin Biron and play-by-play announcer Dan Dunleavy will be shaving their heads live on air during the Sabres' broadcast.


Sabres Memories

In the latest episode of Sabres Memories, we find out what really happened on the bus ride back from Toronto after Buffalo eliminated the Maple Leafs and advances to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final…

Video: Sabres Memories: Bus ride back from Toronto

 

Today in Sabres history

1976: Gilbert Perreault records two goals and five assists as the Sabres pick up a 9-5 road win against the California Seals. Danny Gare and the Seals' Jim Moxey and Wayne Merrick all score goals within 18 seconds of each other in the third period.
 

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