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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on November 18, 2019

Buffalo will practice today as the team prepares for tomorrow's home game against Minnesota

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres are back from Chicago, where they fell to the Blackhawks last night 4-1. The team will return to practice today as they get set for tomorrow night's home game against the Minnesota Wild. 

Here's what you need to know.


A look back at last night

Video: BUF Recap: Eichel nets goal in Sabres' 4-1 loss

From the Lexus Postgame Report…

Coming off a victory at home over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, the Sabres came to United Center on Sunday looking to carry the habits that made them successful into their meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks. 

They did through the first period and a half, but penalties and a two-goal deficit swung momentum away from them in what ended as a 4-1 loss. 

"I thought there was a half, the first half, where we actually were playing the game we wanted to play," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. 

"I thought the second goal really took the wind out of our sails. On a back-to-back, I think you really have to make sure you keep the momentum and the energy going in a good way … they jumped on that opportunity and we seemed to break down with too many penalties and lost control of the game."

Video: POSTGAME: Eichel

Video: POSTGAME: Krueger 

Video: POSTGAME: Vesey 

Despite a 2-0 deficit, the Sabres went into the second intermission holding a 17-15 advantage in even-strength scoring chances, according to They opened the third period with a full power play, their fourth of the night.  

The Sabres went 0-for-4 on those power plays, tallying seven shots on goalie Corey Crawford. They are 0-for-18 with the extra man over their last seven games.

"It's been struggling," Eichel said. "It seems like we're one and done. We're not getting puck retrievals, not making plays, and obviously it's been failing us."

Forward Tage Thompson, making his season debut in place of an injured Kyle Okposo, left for the dressing room with an apparent injury after completing his last shift with 2:20 remaining. He tallied two shot attempts in 6:59. 

In addition to Okposo, who is day-to-day, recent injuries to the Sabres' forward group include Vladimir Sobotka (out four to six weeks), Marcus Johansson (day-to-day), and Johan Larsson (day-to-day). Thompson was the third recall in the past week, following Curtis Lazar and Rasmus Asplund. 

"It's good for us to see what our depth is like," Krueger said. "Those are four of our veteran players out of the lineup. I thought we came in and put up a pretty good fight here early on. Again, very disappointed with the end storyline, but managing injuries is part of what we need to do in the NHL and it's also an opportunity to get to know players from Rochester and to see where our depth is at." 

Read the full recap here.


Turkeys For Tickets returns

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will partner with Wegmans and Entercom Buffalo for a Thanksgiving turkey drive on Wednesday, Nov. 20 to benefit local food pantries.

The turkey drive will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. in the following locations:

• KeyBank Center Surface Lot (Enter lot from Baltimore Street, via Perry Street)
• Wegmans in Amherst (675 Alberta Dr., Amherst, NY 14226)
• Wegmans in West Seneca (370 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca, NY 14224)

For every 20-pound turkey dropped off, or the equivalent of a 20-pound turkey, the Sabres will give the donor one voucher, good for two tickets to an upcoming Sabres home game. Vouchers will be distributed immediately by volunteers from Twin City Ambulance at the drop-off sites.

A maximum of one voucher, which is good for two tickets, will be allotted per person.

Fans can redeem their vouchers for select Sabres home games online using a promo code. Participants will have the option to purchase additional seats at the time of redemption for $25.

All of the donated turkeys will directly benefit the Buffalo City Mission and FeedMore WNY.

Click here for full details.'s Rookie Watch

The play of several high-profile rookies, including forwards Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers, the No. 1 and No. 2 picks of the 2019 NHL Draft, respectively, is one of the major storylines of the 2019-20 season. Each Monday, will examine topics related to this season's class in the Rookie Watch.

This week, the top six rookies in the Atlantic Division:

1. Victor Olofsson, F, Buffalo Sabres: The 24-year-old leads all rookies in the Atlantic Division in goals (seven), power-play goals (six) and points (14) in 20 games playing left wing on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Olofsson, selected in the seventh round (No. 181) of the 2014 NHL Draft, ranks first in average ice time (17:40) among division forwards and first in average ice time on the power play (3:23).

"The more he gets in the corners and battles and learns the grind, he's going to be an unstoppable force," Eichel said. "He's been great to play with, awesome kid, super skilled. He's had so many chances over the last little bit; he could easily have 15 goals right now. Vic's been great and he's just going to keep getting better."

Check out the full rankings from's Mike G. Morreale here.

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