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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on November 21, 2019

Buffalo opens up a 3-game road trip in Boston tonight

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

It's a game night in Boston. The Sabres take on the Bruins tonight at TD Garden as the begin a three-game road trip.

Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the Buick Game Night pregame show starting at 6:30 on MSG. 

Here's what you need to know.

Tonight's matchup 

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Boston on Jan. 5
  • Next meeting: Friday, Dec. 27 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 5-3-2 on the road.
  • The road team has won six of the eight games between these teams in the last two seasons.

 

  • Sam Reinhart has nine points (4+5) in his last 10 games, including four multi-point outings.
  • Reinhart has posted seven assists in eight games against the Bruins in the last two seasons, including five assists in four road games during that span.
  • Boston hasn't held Reinhart without a point in consecutive games since the 2015-16 season; he has recorded at least a point in nine of his last 14 games against the Bruins.

 

  • Jack Eichel has seven multi-point games this season, tying for 13th-most in the league entering play Wednesday. His three multi-goal games left him one shy of the league lead.
  • Eichel has totaled 10 points (5+5) in six career visits to Boston, including four-point games on Dec. 26, 2015 and Dec. 16, 2018.

 

  • Linus Ullmark has stopped 74 of 78 shots (.949) in his two career games against the Bruins.


Yesterday's practice

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Ralph Krueger

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

As the Buffalo Sabres look for offense up and down the lineup, head coach Ralph Krueger may try some different line combinations during the team's three-game road trip that starts tomorrow night in Boston.

During Wednesday's practice at KeyBank Center, Jimmy Vesey worked on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Victor Olofsson skated with Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Asplund, his old linemate in Rochester. Johan Larsson was back at practice and centered a combination with Zemgus Girgensons and Curtis Lazar. Jeff Skinner, meanwhile played left wing with center Evan Rodrigues and winger Conor Sheary.

All of that, however, could change by the time the Sabres take the ice for their game against the Bruins on Thursday. 

Larsson has missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, but is expected to make the trip that includes games against the Bruins, Panthers and Lightning. He's one of five forwards on the injury report, including Marcus Johansson, who could be back with the team this week.

"Still, no firm decisions [have been made]. You saw it in practice today, we haven't confirmed the lineup yet for tomorrow or the lines or if he's going to be a green light," Krueger said. "We're going to make that decision tomorrow."

If Vesey ends up on playing in a game with Eichel and Reinhart in his hometown on Thursday, he's ready for the opportunity. 

"It's a good feeling. I said this a little bit in training camp, but getting put up there, it gives you a shot in the arm and a little bit of a boost," he said. "I'm excited, especially going home and trying to have a good game in Boston."


Don Granato returned to practice

Video: Assistant coach Don Granato returns to practice 

The Sabres welcomed back assistant coach Don Granato at practice. It was announced on Oct. 1 that Granato had been hospitalized with severe pneumonia and would be taking a medical leave from the team.

As he recovered, he slowly worked his way back into the fold. He's been helping the coaching staff break down video, but hadn't had any real interaction with the players until today's practice. Granato was one of the first ones on the ice at KeyBank Center on Wednesday. 

"The whole team, everybody got a real lift today with having Don join us," Krueger said.

"…He's been watching all the games lately and we wanted to get him 100 percent, not 90, not 80, not 70 - he had to be 100. He's been really able to watch for a while so it's a fresh perspective coming in now to the coach's room and his experience will definitely help us in this situation."  

Granato will begin to transition back into his role over the next few games. Amerks head coach Chris Taylor has been filling in as a Sabres assistant coach on an interim basis.


 

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