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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on November 24, 2019

Buffalo plays Florida this evening on the road

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres are back in action tonight as the three-game road trip continues. They're in Sunrise, Florida where they'll play the Florida Panthers. Coverage on MSG begins at 4:30 p.m. 

The trip concludes tomorrow night when the Sabres face the Lightning at 7 p.m.

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Tonight's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes… 

  • A win tonight would give Buffalo multiple victories against Florida in a season for the first time since 2016-17. The Sabres would have wins in consecutive meetings between the teams for the first time since they won three straight from Feb. 10 to Oct. 20, 2011.
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 1-7-2 on the road.

 

  • Jack Eichel has seven multi-point games this season, tying for 14th-most in the league entering play Saturday night. His three multi-goal games tied for fifth-most, leaving him two shy of the league lead.
  • Eichel has posted five points (1+4) in his last five meetings with the Panthers, including the shootout winner in the last game between the teams.

 

  • Sam Reinhart has 18 points (9+9) in 18 career games against the Panthers, including six multi-point games. His career point-per-game output against Florida is his best rate against any NHL team and his nine goals tie his output against Tampa Bay as his highest total against any opponent.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded 11 points (8+3) in his last 10 games against Florida.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled eight points (2+6) in eight games against the Panthers since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.

 

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Florida 3-2 in Buffalo on Oct. 11
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Jan. 4 in Buffalo

 

  • The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are playing on the same day for the second of five times this season after doing so three times last season.
  • The teams have played on the same date 221 times, with both teams winning their respective games on 49 of those days.
  • The Sabres are 118-69-34 when playing on a Bills game day and the Bills enter this game 94-125-2 on those dates.
  • The last time the Sabres and Bills both won on the same date was Dec. 16, 2018.


Saturday's practice

Video: SABRES IN :50

From the Ice Level Practice Report… 

Zach Bogosian is expected to return to the lineup for the Sabres in one of their next two games, coach Ralph Krueger announced Saturday. The team's road trip continues against the Florida Panthers Sunday and concludes in Tampa on Monday. 

Bogosian missed all of training camp as he recovered from offseason hip surgery. He skated for roughly a month prior to joining the team for practice on Nov. 13.  

"It's nice to be around the group," Bogosian said following practice on Saturday. "I spent a lot of time at home. I love my family, but it was time to get back to work. It's been fun."

The Sabres practiced with eight defensemen Saturday after assigning John Gilmour to Rochester. Bogosian skated on a pair with Rasmus Dahlin, though Krueger affirmed that the pairs might not necessarily reflect what we see against the Panthers on Sunday. 

"We're expecting to bring him in this weekend," Krueger said. "We just played with some looks today in practice, but we'll make the final decision after assessing today's practice and make that call tomorrow."

At full health, Buffalo's current depth on defense means two players are being scratched on a nightly basis. Colin Miller sat against the Bruins on Thursday; Marco Scandella was out the game prior. 

Krueger said players were prepared for these scenarios in conversations during camp and stressed the need for all eight defensemen moving forward as the Sabres navigate a condensed schedule. Their game in Florida opens a stretch of five contests in seven days. 

"It's part of being a team is that you're not always going to like the role you have, the ice time you get, or if you're scratched," Krueger said. "But how do you react to that? How do you still support your teammates? 

"So far, we've seen nothing but support from players who haven't been called to play in a game and are watching from the outside. They're the first guys in the room to greet the guys coming off the ice at the end of the game. We need to continue with that spirit."


Coaching update

Video: DON GRANATO

With assistant coach Don Granato ready to resume his role on the Buffalo bench Sunday, Chris Taylor has returned to Rochester and will continue as head coach of the Amerks next week. 

Taylor worked as an assistant on Krueger's staff while Granato recovered from a bout with severe pneumonia that hospitalized him in early October. 

"I mean, Chris is just an outstanding coach and friend now," Krueger said. "Just really filled into a difficult situation here so strongly. Boy, does it ever help us moving forward to have that connection with Chris now that he's in Rochester and we're interacting regularly.

"I was able to learn a lot from him having him at my side. I love having coaches there that challenge you, that ask hard questions, that speak the truth and he does nothing but that. We enjoyed every minute together and we're connected still, just in different roles in the organization."


Today in Sabres history

1986: Gilbert Perreault announces his retirement from the NHL and Lindy Ruff is selected to serve as the sixth captain in franchise history.
 

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