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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on February 16, 2020

Buffalo hosts Toronto tonight at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

It's time for Sunday night hockey.

The Sabres will host the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. It's a 7 p.m. faceoff with pregame coverage on MSG starting at 6:30. Tickets are on sale now.

If you're attending the game, you'll be treated to an encore showing of "Beyond Blue and Gold: Ray v. Domi" during the first and second intermissions. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Tonight's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes...

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo 5-3 in Toronto on Dec. 17, 2019.
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 5-4-1 at home.
  • The Sabres are 20-5-2 in their last 27 home games against the Maple Leafs.

 

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 22 points (13+9) in 16 career games against Toronto, including 11 points (7+4) in seven home games.
  • He has recorded seven multi-point games in his last 12 games against the Maple Leafs.
  • His 1.4 points per game against the Maple Leafs is his third-best career output against any NHL team, trailing only his 1.5 points per game against the Ottawa Senators and Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Eichel has scored more goals against the Maple Leafs (13) than against any other NHL opponent.
  • His .81 goals per game against Toronto also represents his highest rate against any NHL team. Among active NHL players with at least five career games against the Maple Leafs, only Alex Ovechkin (.82) has scored at a higher rate against Toronto.

 Video: Tablet Talk: Victor Olofsson

  • Victor Olofsson, who missed 15 games with a lower body injury from Jan. 4 to Feb. 11, scored twice in his return to the lineup on Thursday vs. Columbus. The overtime winner was his first career overtime goal and his fourth game-winning goal of the season.
  • Olofsson's 37 points in 43 games so far this season match Dave Andreychuk's total from his 43-game rookie season with the Sabres in 1982-83. Olofsson's current .860 points per game this season ties Andreychuk for the fourth-best scoring rate among Sabres rookies with at least 15 games played:
    • Rick Martin (1971-72): 1.014 PTS/GP
    • Gilbert Perreault (1970-71): .923 PTS/GP
    • Ray Sheppard (1987-88): .878 PTS/GP
    • Victor Olofsson (2019-20)/Dave Andreychuk (1982-83): .860 PTS/GP
    • Phil Housley (1982-83): .857 PTS/GP
    • Christian Ruuttu (1986-87): .855 PTS/GP

 

  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled five points (1+4) in five career meetings with Toronto, including two points (1+1) in his sole matchup with the Maple Leafs this season on Dec. 17.
  • Olofsson has three points (1+2) in three games against the Maple Leafs this season.
  • Carter Hutton is 3-1-1 with a .925 save percentage in six career games against Toronto.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 17 points (9+8) in 17 games since the beginning of January. His nine goals during that stretch tied for 10th-most in the league entering play Saturday.

 

Bogosian clears waivers

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Krueger

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian cleared waivers and has been assigned to Rochester, the team announced Saturday. 

Bogosian made his season debut on Nov. 24 following a long recovery from offseason hip surgery. He appeared in 10 straight games beginning that night but has since been scratched for 17 of the team's last 26 contests, including seven of the last eight. 

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said the move was an organizational decision but spoke positively of his interactions with the defenseman. 

"The work together with him, he's a professional and a really good spirt and a good guy," Krueger said.

The Sabres recalled John Gilmour to round out their group of seven defensemen prior to Saturday's practice. Krueger said the decision was based on both Gilmour's comfort with the group - he broke camp with the Sabres in the fall and appeared in four contests - and wanting to allow Lawrence Pilut, who was assigned to Rochester on Friday, to continue appearing in games.

 

More from Saturday's practice

Video: SABRES IN :50

Again, from the Ice Level Practice Report…

Marcus Johansson was back at practice after missing Thursday's win over Columbus with an upper-body injury. The Sabres were without forward Michael Frolik (illness) and goaltender Carter Hutton, who was out for a maintenance day.

Goaltender Andrew Hammond was also called up from Rochester for practice. 

Johansson acknowledged the added intrigue behind Sunday's matchup, which is the season series finale between the Sabres and their cross-border rivals. The Maple Leafs go into their game in Ottawa tonight occupying third place in the Atlantic Division, eight points ahead of the Sabres. 

It's a tall order, sure. But the Sabres have maintained their game-by-game approach and, after winning their past two games, hope to keep chipping away at the deficit with a win tomorrow. 

"This is a big game for us," Johansson said. "It's starting to be that time of year. Every game is big, and we want to make a push and see where it takes us. Tomorrow is huge. We kind of have to look at it with a little bit of a playoff mentality and go out and give it everything we got. That's how you got to see every shift in every game now."

Click here to read the full story. 

 

Today in Sabres history

2004: Miroslav Satan scores a career-high four goals, including his 250th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, leading the Sabres to a 7-2 victory vs. Atlanta.

2012: Thomas Vanek scores his 225th NHL goal in a 7-2 loss at Philadelphia, passing Miroslav Satan for seventh-most goals in team history. Vanek would finish his time with the Sabres ranked fifth in team history with 254 career regular-season goals.

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