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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on October 4, 2019

Coming off a win last night, Buffalo opens the home portion of the schedule tomorrow

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres never trailed last night in their season opener in Pittsburgh. Conor Sheary opened the scoring and Buffalo worked their way to a 3-1 win against the Penguins. 

Tons of stuff is planned for tomorrow night's home opener. We have some details for you here on Sabres.com. 

The GMC Game Night pregame show on MSG will begin at 6:30 p.m. and if you're coming to the game, fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 for a pregame ceremony that will feature former Sabres captains and player introductions. 

But first, stay tuned for coverage of today's practice at LECOM Harborcenter. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

About last night

Video: Sheary scores two as Sabres defeat Pens for first win

From the Lexus Postgame Report…

The Buffalo Sabres opened their inaugural season 50 years ago with a win in Pittsburgh. 

On Thursday, in the first game of their Golden Season, the Sabres skated away with a 3-1 victory over the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. 

Conor Sheary scored twice, Rasmus Dahlin added another, and Carter Hutton made 28 saves in net as the team earned their first victory of the year. It was also Buffalo's first regulation win against Pittsburgh since April 23, 2013.

The result of a tight forecheck and heavy pressure in the defensive zone, Buffalo jumped out to an early lead and was able to frustrate and smother the Penguins throughout the night. 

Video: Ralph Krueger Walkoff Interview

"We've been working on very high-pressure systems so you need to be in excellent shape, which all of these guys came into training camp in," head coach Ralph Krueger, who earned his first win with Buffalo, said. "We need to keep our feet moving and skating all the time. 

"It's a lot to ask day in and day out, but these guys are committed to do that, and it really took away the room and space that Pittsburgh likes to play in. We were able to do that right through the game."


Vital information for the home opener

For Saturday's Home Opener presented by KeyBank, the Buffalo Sabres invited back every captain in team history and 14 alumni will be able to participate in pregame festivities. 

There will be a Party in the Plaza outside of KeyBank Center starting at 5 p.m. where fans can enjoy sponsor activations, kid-friendly activities and a musical performance by The Strictly Hip (all outdoor activities are weather permitting). 

Then at 5:30, Northtown Automotive will drop alumni off at the Blue and Gold Carpet. Fans will have the opportunity to greet the former captains and take photos as they make their way through Alumni Plaza. 

Former captains attending include:
Floyd Smith (Captain: 1970-71)
Gerry Meehan (Captain: 1971-72 - Oct. 1974)
Don Luce (Captain: Jan. 1976)
Danny Gare (Captain: 1977-78 - 1980-81)
Gilbert Perreault (Captain: 1981-82 - Nov. 1986)
Mike Foligno (Captain: Feb. 1989 - Dec. 1990)
Michael Peca (Captain: 1997-98 - 1999-2000)
Donald Audette (Captain: April 1998)
Stu Barnes (Captain: 2001-02 - March 2003)
Jochen Hecht (Captain: Oct. 2007, Feb. 2008)
Toni Lydman (Captain: Nov. 2007)
Brian Campbell (Captain: Dec. 2007)
Craig Rivet (Captain: 2008-09 - 2010-11)
Brian Gionta (Captain: 2014-15 - 2016-17)

The captains will participate in a special pregame ceremony, so fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45.

At the door, fans will receive a "Scratch and Score" card that they can redeem for prizes at local KeyBank branches while supplies last. 

When fans arrive at their seat, they'll find a a Sabres commemorative home opener T-shirt courtesy of KeyBank waiting for them.

The current team will also wear the special 50th Season jersey for the first time. 

Tickets for the game are on sale now.

 

Amerks start tonight

The Rochester Americans open their historic 64th season in the American Hockey League - and 38th as the primary affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres - tonight when they host the North Division rival Syracuse Crunch at Blue Cross Arena.

Rochester returns five of its top eight scorers from the 2018-19 season, including Rasmus Asplund, Taylor Leier, Zach Redmond, Kevin Porter and C.J. Smith.

Game time is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start and can be heard live on The Sports Leader 95.7 FM/950 AM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.

Read more in Amerks.com's Game Preview.


Olofsson looking to make his mark

Video: BUF@NYI: Olofsson goes top shelf for first NHL goal

What has helped Victor Olofsson in his journey from a seventh-round pick to a top-line winger? We looked back at his development over the years in a written feature. Here's a little bit of it. You can read the full story here.

Victor Olofsson came to North America one year ago with his sights set on playing opening night for the Buffalo Sabres. Instead, he spent the next six months in Rochester.

He responded the only way he knows how: a 30-goal, 63-point AHL campaign while working tirelessly on improving his two-way game and adjusting to a smaller ice surface. 

No rush. All part of the plan. 

"He made the best of it," Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor said. "He didn't wait for two months or three months [to be] like, let's get going. 

"He took advantage of what he had and what was given to him and he took the bull by the horns and just ran with it, and it was him. That's why he got all the ice time. He deserved every bit he got."

Olofsson will be in the opening-night lineup for the Sabres in Pittsburgh on Thursday, beginning on the top line alongside a pair of fifth-year players in Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. At 24, the rookie winger will be the oldest member of the trio.  

His journey to this point has been an exercise in patience. It's been five years since the Sabres selected Olofsson with the 181st pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, each representing another checked box in a plan he trusted would ultimately lead him to this day. 

"I've been trying to be real patient," Olofsson said. "I don't feel like I need to rush anything. 

"I feel like it's all been kind of part of the plan."

Again, the full story is here.

 

Jersey auction opens today

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team is holding a game-worn jersey auction that will start Friday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. The auction will be held at auctions.nhl.com until Sunday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
  
The jerseys available for bidding include set three of the game-worn home jerseys from the 2018-19 season. All jerseys will come with a certificate of authenticity.

 

Get hyped up

Video: What makes Buffalo a special hockey town?

We'll see you tomorrow night. 

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