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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on November 19, 2019

Buffalo plays Minnesota tonight at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres play tonight against the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center. 

It's a 7 p.m. faceoff with the GMC Game Night pregame show kicking off at 6:30 on MSG. Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray will have the call on MSG and WGR 550. Tickets are available now. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Tonight's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Wild this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Minnesota 5-4 (SO) in Buffalo on Feb. 5
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 28 in Minnesota
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Wild; 2-7-1 at home.

 

  • Buffalo won both matchups with Minnesota last season. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have three straight wins against the Wild for the first time since Minnesota joined the league in 2000-01.
  • Sam Reinhart has nine points (4+5) in his last nine games, including four multi-point outings.
  • Jack Eichel has seven multi-point games this season, tying for 12th-most in the league entering play Monday. His three multi-goal games leave him one shy of the league lead.

 

  • The Sabres enter tonight's game with a 10-7-3 record through their first 20 games this season, tying the 1983-84 season as the team's 16th-best start through 20 games.

 

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 24 points (13+11) through 20 games this season, topping his previous best starts in both goals (8, 2016-17) and points (22, 2018-19) and putting him on pace for career highs in both categories. His nine even-strength goals also represent his highest-ever total through 20 games (5, 2017-18).

 

  • With 17 points (8+9) through 20 games, Sam Reinhart has also surpassed his previous best starts in goals (4, 2015-16) and points (13, 2018-19) and is on pace for career highs in both categories.

 

  • Victor Olofsson's seven goals so far this season are the most by a Sabres rookie through the team's first 20 games of the season since Derek Plante had eight (in 15 games played) though Buffalo's first 20 games in 1994-94. Olofsson is currently on pace for 29 goals, which would be the most by a Sabres rookie since Donald Audette (31) in 1991-92.

 

Monday's practice

Video: SABRES IN :50

From the Ice Level Practice Report… 

For the first month of the season, the Sabres had little movement within their forward group. Health and production allowed coach Ralph Krueger to roll the same four lines on a nightly basis, save for subtle situational tweaks made within games. 

The injury bug has bitten often since the beginning of November, and it continued Tuesday. The team announced that Kyle Okposo sustained a concussion in Saturday's game against Ottawa and is out indefinitely, while Tage Thompson - who was recalled to replace Okposo - is expected to miss three to five weeks after sustaining an upper-body injury on his final shift last night. 

The Sabres were already without Vladimir Sobotka, who is out four to six weeks, as well as Marcus Johansson and Johan Larsson, both of whom are day-to-day. Krueger said that neither Johansson nor Larsson will play against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. 

"It was a really long stretch with the same forward lines, and there was some good synergy there," Krueger said. "The processes seemed to be quite automatic, especially the way we want to be connected on the ice.

"Losing a forward a game now for five games in a row has been quite disruptive. But the guys are working hard to find the right path. It's a different kind of challenge, but it's a good one for us to get to know our ability to adjust and also get to know new players."

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Krueger

The Sabres practiced with 11 forwards and nine defensemen this afternoon. Zach Bogosian - entering his second week of practice as he continues the late stage of his recovery from hip surgery - filled in up front for some drills.

Krueger said the team will decide later this afternoon whether they will recall a forward from Rochester for Tuesday's game or play with seven defensemen. Remi Elie, C.J. Smith, and Scott Wilson are dealing with injuries in Rochester, leaving Jean-Sebastien Dea and Andrew Oglevie as the two options on NHL contracts. 

Curtis Lazar and Rasmus Asplund have both taken on key roles since being recalled during the past week. Lazar scored in his debut Thursday; while Asplund has often been one of the first players over the boards on the penalty kill.

Click here to read more.

 

Turkeys for Tickets is tomorrow morning

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. 

 

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