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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on March 12, 2020

Buffalo is scheduled to play in Montreal tonight

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

There's a game scheduled for tonight in Montreal. Catch the Buick Game Night pregame show at 6:30 p.m. on MSG with the opening faceoff taking place at 7 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550.

Here's what you need to know. 

A statement from the NHL

Last night, the NBA suspended its season indefinitely after a player tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The NHL then released this statement:

Tweet from @PR_NHL: National Hockey League Statement Regarding Coronavirus:

And this just in...

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Given the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs are advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today.

The Sabres will conduct neither a meeting nor media availability at Bell Centre this morning. 


Tonight's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Buffalo on Jan. 30.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 24 in Montreal
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 5-4-1 on the road.


  • Since joining the Sabres at the trade deadline, Dominik Kahun has totaled four points (2+2) in six games. He also scored the game-deciding shootout goal on Monday vs. Washington with his second career shootout attempt.
  • In his six games with Buffalo, Kahun has led the team with 1.72 goals per 60 minutes of ice time during 5-on-5 play. He ranks second behind Marcus Johansson (4.07) with 3.45 points per 60 in those games.
  • Kahun's full-season per-60 totals also rank among the team's leaders: His .90 goals per 60 in 2019-20 rank behind only Jeff Skinner (1.06) and Jack Eichel (.91), and his 1.53 assists and 2.43 points per 60 lead all Sabres this season.


  • Jeff Skinner has recorded 20 points (14+6) in 21 games against Montreal since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, including eight points (5+3) in six games against the Canadiens since joining the Sabres in 2018-19.
  • Marcus Johansson has nine points (1+8) in his last nine games against the Canadiens, including points in each of his four games against Montreal since the beginning of last season (1+5).
  • Jack Eichel has recorded at least a point in each of his last five matchups with Montreal, totaling 11 points (4+7) in those contests.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded six assists in six career games against the Canadiens.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled five points (2+3) in six meetings with Montreal since the beginning of last season, including three points (1+2) in two road games.

Wednesday's practice

Video: Wednesday's Practice Report

From the Ice Level Practice Report… 

Marcus Johansson is his own harshest critic. He critiques his game when he feels it's not up to his standard, so much so that coach Ralph Krueger has said the forward can be too hard on himself. 

Lately, however, Johansson has felt better. He has a point in five of his last six games and has settled into a role centering Victor Olofsson and Dominik Kahun.  

"I feel like I'm skating better, a little bit more comfortable with the puck again," Johansson said. "It kind of goes to the point where you don't have confidence and you know you can do it and you want to do it, you force things a little bit, you don't kind of get it to work. 

"I feel like lately it's just kind of come a little bit naturally for myself as well and I'm starting to find myself a little bit more again. It makes it more fun to play hockey, too."

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Ralph Krueger

We wrote Tuesday about how Kahun has enjoyed early success with the Sabres due in part to his chemistry with Johansson. Krueger described the line as having an "east-west" offensive dynamic and Olofsson suggested their ability to change places on the rush makes them unpredictable for defenses. 

Johansson, too, has felt the benefits of this newly formed trio. Though they rarely played together during the regular season, Johansson and Olofsson have both said they had immediate chemistry early in training camp. Kahun's style has been a perfect complement. 

"We grew up playing the same type of hockey and we all like to play with the puck and hold onto it and make plays, kind of a European style a little bit, I guess," Johansson said.  

"… Sometimes there's something that clicks. So far, it's been good. We've created a lot of chances and scored a couple goals. So hopefully we can keep that going."

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