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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on October 28, 2019

Buffalo hosts Arizona tonight at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Arizona Coyotes are in town tonight for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Buffalo looks to improve on its perfect record at KeyBank Center. Tickets are on sale now. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Tonight's matchup

From the Game Notes… 

  • At 5-0-0 through their first five home games, the Sabres are the only team in the NHL that has yet to lose a game at home in 2019-20.
  • With a 5-0-0 start to their home schedule for the first time since 1984-85, the Sabres are looking to tie a franchise record set in the 1975-76 season by opening the season with six consecutive wins at home.

 

  • The Sabres are 9-2-1 entering their final game of October. The have already recorded the franchise's second-highest point total in the opening month of a season. With a win tonight, they would tie the franchise record, matching the team's 21-point output in October 2006 (10-0-1).

 

  • Carter Hutton (2) and Linus Ullmark (1) have combined for three shutouts through Buffalo's first 12 games. It is the first time in franchise history that the Sabres have posted three shutouts in the first month of the season.

 

  • Regardless of tonight's result, the Sabres' points percentage after the opening month will rank in the franchise's top five starts to the season. With a win, it would rank third all-time.

 

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Arizona 3-1 in Buffalo on Dec. 13, 2018.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 29 in Arizona
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 6-2-2 at home.

 

Happy birthday, Jack Eichel

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: RT to wish the Captain a happy birthday!#Sabres50 | @Jackeichel15 pic.twitter.com/zJV9MBJfjH

Today is Jack Eichel's 23rd birthday. According to @SabresPR, only two players in Sabres franchise history have recorded more points than Eichel before turning 23 years old. Just three players have scored more goals for the team before their 23rd birthdays.

Most Points Before 23rd Birthday
Phil Housley (1982-83 to 1986-8): 369 GP - 98 G - 229 A - 327 PTS
Pierre Turgeon (1987-88 to 1991-92): 322 GP - 122 G - 201 A - 323 PTS
Jack Eichel (2015-16 to 2019-20): 298 GP - 107 G - 168 A - 275 PTS
 

Most Goals Before 23rd Birthday
Rick Martin (1971-72 to 1973-74): 226 GP - 133 G
Pierre Turgeon (1987-88 to 1991-92): 322 GP - 122 G
Dave Andreychuk (1982-83 to 1985-86): 265 GP - 119 G
Jack Eichel (2015-16 to 2019-20): 298 GP - 107 G

 

A look back at last game

Video: Ullmark makes 41 saves, Sabres shut out Red Wings

From the Lexus Postgame Report…  

The Buffalo Sabres have found an ability to positively respond after a disappointing loss. The only two regulation games they've lost so far this season have come on the front half of a back-to-back set, and they've come back both times with shutout victories the next game.

Back on Oct. 16, they opened a three-game road trip with a disappointing 5-2 loss in Anaheim. The next night, they blanked the Kings 3-0 on the strength of a superb defensive effort. 

Last night, Buffalo fell into an early hole to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and ultimately lost 6-2. 

The team regrouped on Friday and came away with another shutout - their third of the season - this time in the form of a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. 

"We've just got confidence in here. There's no panic," alternate captain Jake McCabe said. "We lose a game, we didn't have our best night, obviously, everyone was a little off, and we just refocus and focus on the next game. 

"The past is the past. Focus on that next shift, that next period. When you really narrow your focus, you can do a lot of good things."

Buffalo is now 9-2-1 on the season and has yet to lose back-to-back games.

Video: BUF@DET: Ullmark keeps Red Wings off the board

"You always have the mentality that you never want to lose two in a row," goaltender Linus Ullmark said. "That's an obvious thing for us. You want to get on the winning track right away. You don't want to get those second, third, fourth losses and get in a slump. You want to keep the train rolling at all times."

Ullmark made 41 saves, including 21 in the third period to earn his first shutout of the season. McCabe and Sam Reinhart scored for Buffalo.

Read the full recap here.  

 

Sunday's practice

Video: SABRES IN :50

From the Lexus Postgame Report... 

Brandon Montour smiled wide as he sat inside the KeyBank Center dressing room on Sunday, having just completed his first practice with teammates in more than a month. 

"I felt like a hockey player again," Montour said. "It's been a while. It's good to be back and kind of get with the team and get that feel again."

The practice marked Montour's first skate with the team since he sustained a hand injury in Columbus on Sept. 17, the second game of the preseason. The defenseman had spent the summer rehabbing a knee injury that occurred during the IIHF World Championship in May. 

The nature of this injury was different in that it allowed Montour to skate throughout his rehabilitation process, though his patience was tested. He estimated he was skating for three or four weeks with full gear and no stick. 

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Krueger

"You can imagine how frustrating and how tough that was," he said. "But at least I can still skate and whatnot. An injury like this or what happened with [knee] surgery and stuff, it's all about patience and a matter of time before it gets full healed."

The Sabres added another reinforcement by recalling William Borgen from Rochester on Sunday morning. Borgen had previously been recalled Friday but spent Saturday playing in the Amerks' overtime victory in Syracuse.

As for Montour, the Sabres will focus on getting him up to speed in practice before placing him back in the lineup. The defenseman credited his skating and off-ice work with helping him stay prepared from a conditioning standpoint, though pace and timing are always an adjustment coming off injuries.  

"It's day-to-day to see him get integrated here. We've got no timeline on the re-entry," head coach Ralph Krueger said. "It's the first day, once again, and we'll build on this."

Tweet from @SabresPR: Sabres/Amerks injury report for Sunday, October 27. pic.twitter.com/LhJrml6Fh3

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