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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on October 22, 2019

Buffalo hosts San Jose tonight on home ice

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres are back home tonight against San Jose. It's a 7 p.m. faceoff with the GMC Game Night pregame show starting at 6:30 on MSG.

Buffalo is coming off a successful West Coast road trip and hope to sweep the season series with the Sharks tonight. Tickets are on sale now.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Tonight's matchup

From the Game Notes...

  • With a 4-0-0 start to their home schedule, the Sabres are looking to open the season with at least five consecutive wins at home for the first time since 1984-85, when they won their first five.
  • A 5-0-0 record through five home games would tie the Sabres' second-best start at home, matching the 1972-73 and 1984-85 seasons. The team's record for most consecutive home wins to begin a season is six, set in the 1975-76 season.

 

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Sharks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated San Jose 4-3 in San Jose on Oct. 19
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Sharks; 7-2-1 at home.

 

  • Tonight's game is the second in a home-and-home series between the Sabres and Sharks that began with a 4-3 Sabres win on Saturday night in San Jose. It is the first home-and-home series ever to be played between the teams.
  • This series is the Sabres' first home-and-home set against a Western Conference opponent since November 1996 (Toronto). It's just their third ever contested against a team located in the Pacific time zone, joining their series against California in February 1971 and Vancouver in March 1996.
  • The Sabres have played in 163 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 92-48-23 (.635) in the home games and 56-78-29 (.433) in the road games in previous series.


Hutton named NHL's Third Star of the Week

Video: Sabres in 50: Hutton named NHL's 3rd Star of the Week

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the week ending Oct. 20, the league announced Monday. 

From our story here on Sabres.com…

Hutton has had a terrific start to the 2019-20 season, punctuated by back-to-back shutout appearances last week against the Stars and the Kings. 

He earned his first shutout as a member of the Sabres on Monday against Dallas and followed that up by setting a Sabres franchise record with 47 saves in a shutout on Thursday at Los Angeles, joining Bob Sauve as the second Sabres goaltender to post two shutouts in his first five games of a season. Sauve accomplished the feat in 1979-80.

Video: BUF@LAK: Hutton stops 47, extends shutout streak

He enters tonight's game against San Jose having played his last 128:36 without allowing a goal and needs to play just 2:16 without allowing a goal in his next appearance to surpass his longest career shutout streak of 130:51 set from Feb. 16 to March 3, 2017 when he was with St. Louis.

 

Monday's practice

We took a look at the Sabres' balanced scoring among their forward lines.

From the Ice Level Practice Report…

Kyle Okposo has noticed a healthy competition developing among the Sabres' forward lines. It starts at the top with the trio of Victor Olofsson, Jack Eichel, and Sam Reinhart, and trickles to the others, with each group wanting to match the offense of the others. 

"We just want everybody to do well," Okposo said. "It's fun. When everybody's having success, the team's having success. I want the other guys to score just as much as myself."

He paused. "But I want to score too. There's that, and it's a lot of fun."

Through nine games, the Sabres' offensive attack has been as balanced as any in the NHL. Eighteen different skaters have registered a point and 11 have scored at least one goal. 

The Sabres have four players who have scored four or more goals (Olofsson, Eichel, Jeff Skinner, and Marcus Johansson), tied with Colorado and Pittsburgh for the most such skaters in the league. 

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Ralph Krueger

That number climbs to seven if you include players with three goals (Reinhart, Casey Mittelstadt, and Conor Sheary), matched only by Colorado and Washington. 

"It's good to see the 5-on-5 game going right through the lineup," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said Monday. "I think that's what we all know we need, is depth scoring and offense coming out of every group. 

"That's probably the most exciting thing, is that there's scoring chances coming on a regular basis right through the games now. Every line has its own personality and is coming to that end in different ways, but we're enjoying the chances that we're creating right now as a group."

Read the full line-by-line breakdown here.


Behind the scenes of Captains Night

What were the former captains up to during the home opener once the pregame ceremony ended? We have the answer for you here: 

Video: Behind the Scenes of Captains Night

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