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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on January 9, 2020

Michael Frolik is expected to make his Sabres debut as Buffalo plays the Blues in a road game tonight

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

It's a game night in St. Louis. Join us for the pregame show on MSG starting at 7:30. Faceoff is at 8 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550. 

It looks like Michael Frolik will make his Sabres debut.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Tonight's matchup

 

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…  

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blues this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated St. Louis 5-2 in Buffalo on Dec. 10, 2019
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blues; 1-5-4 on the road.

 

  • After earning wins in the last two meetings between these teams, the Sabres are looking for their first win in St. Louis since Dec. 27, 2009.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have three straight wins against the Blues for the first time since Oct. 22, 1995 to Nov. 1, 1996.

 

  • Marcus Johansson enters tonight's game on a four-game point streak (1+5), marking his longest streak of the season. A point tonight would give him his longest point streak since he tallied points in five straight games from March 23 to 31, 2017 (1+9).

 

  • Linus Ullmark has earned wins in each of his last two starts, stopping 57 of 61 shots faced (.934) against the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.
  • He has stopped 79 of 85 shots (.929) in his three career meetings with the Blues.

 

  • Conor Sheary has recorded four points (2+2) in Buffalo's last three games while Sam Reinhart has totaled four points (2+2) in the Sabres' last four contests.
  • Reinhart has recorded a point in each of his four career games in St. Louis (2+2).

 

  • Jack Eichel has recorded points in each of Buffalo's last four games (2+2). His current stretch trails only his run of 18 consecutive games played with a point (Nov. 16 to Dec. 21) for his longest streak this season.
  • He is two goals from tying his previous best goal total (26) set in the 2018-19 season.
  • The Sabres captain has scored three goals in the three games between the Sabres and Blues since the beginning of last season.

 

  • Johan Larsson (2+1), Zemgus Girgensons (1+2), Brandon Montour (0+2) and Zach Bogosian (0+2) all enter tonight's game with points in each of Buffalo's last two games against St. Louis. Jimmy Vesey (1+1) has also posted points in both of his last two games against the Blues.


Wednesday's practice

Video: Practice Report: Frolik arrives in Buffalo

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

Michael Frolik woke up Tuesday around 6 a.m. He picked up his work visa at the U.S. Embassy in Toronto, went back to his hotel for the afternoon and, finally, began his drive to Buffalo around 4 p.m. Traffic on the QEW made the trip take nearly three hours. 

It was 7:30 p.m. by the time Frolik arrived at KeyBank Center. An hour later, he was alone on the ice for his first official skate as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. 

"It was a quick skate, 30 minutes, and it was good," Frolik said. "I needed to feel the ice a little bit before I jumped into it."

Frolik took the ice again Wednesday, albeit with more company. He practiced with his Sabres teammates for the first time, skating on a line with Marcus Johansson and Conor Sheary. 

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Ralph Krueger

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said that Frolik will be in the lineup against St. Louis on Thursday. In the meantime, the coaching staff will look to strike a balance between getting the forward up to speed on the team's principles and cluttering his mind with too much information.

"The important thing when you integrate somebody like that is you want him, like everybody else, to actually just play free and play naturally within the principles," Krueger said. "So, we have to be patient on him automating those principles and we're not going to overload him here. 

"He has such a good instinct and you could see his speed already today. His defensive decision making is strong and we feel he's going to slide into the way we want to play quickly. But you don't overload him."

Read the full story here.

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