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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on January 15, 2020

Buffalo faces Dallas on the road tomorrow night

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres pulled out two points last night when they beat the Vegas Golden Knight 4-2 at KeyBank Center.

Jack Eichel picked up two points, including a highlight-reel goal that stood up as the game winner midway through the third period. Sam Reinhart recorded a goal and two assists and Linus Ullmark made 24 saves. Kyle Okposo and Curtis Lazar also scored.

Buffalo will return to practice today before heading out with their dads for a two-game road trip through Dallas and Nashville. Then they'll have a week off leading into the All-Star Game next weekend. 

Got all that?

Here's what you need to know.

 

A look back at last night

Video: VGK@BUF: Eichel goes coast-to-coast to reclaim lead

From the Postgame Report…

Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart both agreed: The Buffalo Sabres didn't quite have their best against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. By the end of the night, it didn't matter.

Reinhart tallied three points, including a goal and an assist on the power play, and Eichel scored the game-winner in highlight-reel fashion as the Sabres earned a 4-2 victory. 

Buffalo has now won four of its last six games. 

"It's a gutsy win," Eichel said afterward. "We needed that win."'

Video: Sam Reinhart on the postgame show

Video: POSTGAME: Eichel

The Sabres dominated the first period to the tune of 13-4 shot advantage but were unable to score against Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights flipped the script in the second, outshooting the Sabres 12-5 and taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Tomas Nosek. 

Special teams allowed the Sabres to emerge from that second period with a 2-1 lead, built on the strength of power-play goals from Kyle Okposo and Reinhart. That didn't take away from their disappointment with how the period went at even strength. 

"I thought between periods we stayed quite calm, but we were stern, we were angry, and it was just about getting back to that," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "The first period was one of our best in a long time. It was quite disappointing then to give up on some of those habits. 

"At the same time, they're as good a checking team as we've seen in this building. They hound pucks like I haven't really seen; maybe St. Louis does it, but not many other teams hound like that. To recover and still win the game, I thought was excellent."

Video: POSTGAME: Okposo

Video: POSTGAME: Krueger

The Sabres power play improved to 6-for-14 (43 percent) over the team's last five games, continuing to reap the rewards of increased shot volume and movement between players. 

 "When it's not going well, you need volume of shots," Okposo said. "That seems to be opening everything up."

Read the full recap here.

 

Facts and stats

From @SabresPR…

  • The Sabres improved to 7-3-3 against the Pacific Division this season, including a 4-1-2 record against the division at KeyBank Center.
  • Buffalo has now gone 6-for-14 (42.9%) on the power play in the team's last five games.

 

  • With his 15th win of the season, Ullmark tied his career high set in 37 appearances last season. Ullmark is 4-1-0 since the beginning of January with a .923 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average.

 

  • Reinhart tied his career high with three points (1+2) in his 11th multi-point game of the season. It was his 10th career three-point game and his first since he scored a hat trick on Feb. 23, 2019 vs. Washington.
  • Reinhart has now produced above a point-per-game pace at home this season (11+13).

 

  • Eichel recorded two points (1+1) to extend his point streak to eight games (4+6).
  • He has joined John Carlson, Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Mitchell Marner and David Pastrnak as the sixth player to record two streaks of at least eight games this season.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Jack Eichel is the first @BuffaloSabres player to reach the 60-point mark in 46 games or fewer since 1992-93, when Alexander Mogilny (33 GP) and Pat LaFontaine (34 GP) combined for the feat. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/t5WFWnbXr9

  • Eichel's second point was his 28th goal of the season. Through 46 games played, he has now tied his career-high goal total set last season in 77 games.

 

Injury update

Forward Tage Thompson underwent successful surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday. 

After further evaluation with the Sabres' team doctors during the rehab process for his injury sustained on Nov. 17, it was determined that surgery was the appropriate next step in Thompson's recovery process.

Thompson's expected recovery time will be five to six months.


Road Crew returns

Video: Road Crew Vegas

The Buffalo Sabres announced yesterday afternoon that the team's Road Crew will make two stops during its annual tour.

The first stop will be on Feb. 27 in Las Vegas prior to the team's game against the Golden Knights on Feb. 28 followed by a second stop in Raleigh, North Carolina on Monday, March 16 one day before the Sabres' game against the Hurricanes on March 17.

Tickets are $15 each for each event, with all proceeds benefiting the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

The Las Vegas Tour Stop will take place at Moneyline Sports Bar in Park MGM (3770 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109) from 6 to 8 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets online at Sabres.com/RoadCrewVegas.

The events will also include drink specials, Sabres trivia, giveaways and much more. Everyone who purchases a ticket to either event will receive an official Sabres Road Crew credential and lanyard.

Click here for full details. 
 

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