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Sharpen Up: April 1, 2019

Here's what you need to know on Monday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Buffalo was blanked by the Blue Jackets last night at KeyBank Center. Linus Ullmark made 32 saves in the loss. 

The Sabres have three games remaining on the schedule. They'll continue the homestand tomorrow night against Nashville and then host Ottawa on Thursday for Fan Appreciation Night presented by ADPRO Sports. The season concludes on Saturday in Detroit.  

Here's what you need to know.


About last night

Video: BUF Recap: Ullmark makes 32 saves in 4-0 defeat

From the Lexus Postgame Report…

Jake McCabe was back in the lineup wearing an "A" for the Sabres on Sunday night, marking his return from a 13-game absence that stemmed from an upper-body injury. 

The result, a 4-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, was frustrating for everyone in the Sabres' dressing room. But McCabe said he was glad to be back, battling alongside his teammates. 

"It's never easy sitting in the press box watching all your buddies battle over this last month," he said. "But I was really anxious to get out there and it feels really good to be back in this room with all these guys and competing side by side."

McCabe expressed empathy for a deservedly frustrated fanbase following the loss, which extended the Sabres' winless streak to seven games. What he would not do was concede to the notion that he and his teammates are taking it lightly.

Video: POSTGAME: Okposo

Video: POSTGAME: McCabe

Video: POSTGAME: Housley

"We're not quitting," McCabe said. "We're showing resiliency. Guys are battling through the end, and obviously we continue to end up on the wrong side of things right now, but we're going to continue harping competing and work ethic.

"… I feel for [the fans]. I mean, it sucks. Obviously, nobody wants to lose in this city, including us. It's not like we're going out there trying to lose every single night. Obviously, it sucks for the fans, it sucks for us, it sucks for everyone involved. 

"It's been a few years of this, which has been unfortunate for a lot of us in here. Once again, I'm just going to keep harping on it that the only way we get out of it is competing and work ethic. We've got a few games left. Just try to come to the rink with a positive attitude and try to end on a good note."

The Sabres emphasized the start to their game after falling behind early in a loss on Long Island on Saturday. They answered the bell at the outset, jumping out to a 7-1 shot advantage over the first six minutes. 

The game turned when Pierre Luc-Dubois opened the scoring for the Blue Jackets 7:14 into the contest, finding room at the backdoor to redirect a shot from Seth Jones. That snowballed into a three-goal period for Columbus, with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Nick Foligno adding goals before the first intermission.

"I just think we tighten up a little bit," Kyle Okposo said. "I thought our start was really good. We come out, we attack the game. We were playing really well the first seven, eight minutes, then they get one and then we just sat back on our heels a little bit."

Click here for the full recap.

Providence advances to Frozen Four

Tweet from @NCAAIceHockey: Jacob Bryson: Mr. Do-It-All2nd Period | PC 2 | CU 0#NCAAHockey

Catch Sabres prospect Jacob Bryson in Buffalo on April 11. 

The defenseman, drafted by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft, is one of the captains of the Providence Friars, and they beat Cornell yesterday 4-0 to advance to the Frozen Four. 

Tweet from @jbryson_18: Thank you fans for making this weekend an unforgettable experience at the dunk. Best fans in college hockey. Hope to see you in Buffalo! #GoFriars #stilldancing 💃

They'll take on Minnesota Duluth, the defending champions, on April 11 in the semifinal round at 5 p.m. at KeyBank Center. Denver and UMass will play at 8:30. The championship game is set for April 13 at 8. Tickets are on sale now.

Academy of Hockey tips

For any young hockey players watching, Matt Ellis and Mike Ansell of the Academy of Hockey offered some instructional advice during last night's game. Here are a few of the clips they discussed:  

Tweet from @AcademyOfHockey: One face-off - two different strategies. Hear @EllisMatt37 break down several tactics that @Jackeichel15 & @csheary13 used in this offensive face-off.

Tweet from @AcademyOfHockey: What makes @rasmusdahlin00's skating so effective? He uses his feet to open up his legs and posture, shifts his weight and controls the upper body which helps him explode. This is why he's able to create so much more power than anybody else on the ice and creates opportunities.

Tweet from @AcademyOfHockey: Stick handling is key! Work on the top hand control and balance by stick handling in your driveway, basement, etc... The more you practice stick handling on your own - the more likely these skills will translate over to when you step out on the ice. @CoachMike5 #AOHReady

Tweet from @AcademyOfHockey: That's a wrap for tonight's @BuffaloSabres broadcast. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @AcademyOfHockey to check out weekly posts featuring new drills, teaching points, skills, players, etc... #AOHReady

Amerks playoffs tickets on sale Friday

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: Passionate. Resilient. Hard Working. Time to Clock IN! #BlueCollarBuilt Tickets on sale April 5th:

The Rochester Americans punched their ticket to the postseason after their 6-4 win over Binghamton on Saturday. 

Tickets for all first-round home games for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs will go on sale on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The complete opening round schedule will be released at a later date as soon as Rochester's first-round opponent has been determined.

Individual game tickets for Round One of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs start as low as just $14 and range in price up to $28 depending on seat location. All tickets purchased on the day of the game will increase by $2.

Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase all potential home playoff games with a Playoff Pack, which will go on sale Wednesday, April 3. Convenient payment options are available and guarantee your seating at the lowest rates for all home playoff games at Blue Cross Arena.

Click here for full details.

Fan Appreciation Night is Thursday

The team's annual Fan Appreciation celebration will take place during the team's final home and road games of the 2018-19 season.

During Thursday's game, team sponsors will be providing additional prizes for lucky row and section giveaways, T-shirt toss and more, including KeyBank, Perry's Ice Cream, Niagara University, Moe's Southwest Grill, Eaton Office Supply, La Nova Pizzeria, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, New Era Cap and Supercuts. Additionally, there will be a 50/50 guaranteed jackpot of $40,000.  

Click here for more details and information on other giveaways.

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