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Sharpen Up: February 11, 2019

Here's what you need to know on Monday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres fell to the Winnipeg Jets yesterday by a 3-1 score. Jack Eichel scored the lone Buffalo goal seconds after a power-play expired. Carter Hutton made 28 saves in goal.

They're now 1-2-1 on the homestand with two games remaining: Tuesday against the Islanders and Friday against the Rangers. Tickets for both games are on sale now. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

About yesterday's game

Video: BUF Recap: Eichel nets lone goal in 3-1 defeat

From the Lexus Postgame Report…

Although they had just stood toe-to-toe with one of the NHL's top teams for most of 60 minutes, the positives were of little consolation to the Buffalo Sabres following a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at KeyBank Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Sabres outshot the Jets, 36-29, and played the Central Division leaders to a 1-1 tie until late in the third period. Blake Wheeler buried a backdoor feed from Josh Morrissey with 3:55 remaining to give the Jets the lead, and Mark Scheifele added an empty-net goal in the game's dying seconds. 

"It's a tough one," alternate captain Kyle Okposo said. "They made a play when it mattered. That's it. I thought we outplayed them for most of the game. They had their chances, but they made a play when it mattered."

Jack Eichel scored the lone goal for the Sabres. Carter Hutton made 26 saves in his first start since Feb. 1. 

Video: POSTGAME: Okposo

Video: POSTGAME: Housley

Video: POSTGAME: Eichel 

Video: POSTGAME: Hutton 

The Sabres drew five penalties in the first two periods, which was indicative of the manner with which they attacked the game early. They generated 47 shot attempts as opposed to 21 against in the first 40 minutes. 

"We were moving the puck quick and getting it up north," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "From that point, we were on the attack. The guys did a really good job of protecting the puck down low. They were cutting back, grinding it out, making them defend. We just didn't get anything off it, but that sometimes is going to happen in a tight game."

"I think I've said this a few times before, but I don't know how many times you can take the moral victory anymore," Eichel said. "We're 55 games into the year; how many times can we say, 'Oh we played well but we didn't get any points.' 

"Other teams are getting points, moving up the standings and we're not. I think the moral victories are a thing of the past at this point. We don't get any points and they win the game. Back at it Tuesday night."

You can read the full recap here.

Zach Bogosian missed the game due to a lower-body injury. He skated 22:39 in Saturday's 3-1 win over Detroit.

With 61 points, the Sabres remain two points behind Pittsburgh for the second Wild Card spot. The Penguins play Philadelphia tonight.

In lighter news, RJ decided to stop down and greet fans in the pavilion prior to yesterday's game…

Video: RJ meets fans before the game

 

Postgame notes

Courtesy of @SabresPR…

  • With yesterday's loss, the Sabres have fallen to 5-2-0 in seven afternoon games this season.
  • Buffalo and Winnipeg have now split a season series for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

 

  • With yesterday's goal, Jack Eichel has set a new career high in even strength points with 43 (14+29). His previous high of 42 was set in 67 games during the 2017-18 season.
  • Eichel now has five points (3+2) in his last three games against the Jets.

 

  • With his assist yesterday, Rasmus Dahlin has tied Elias Pettersson for the rookie lead with 25 assists this season.
  • Dahlin's assist was his 31st point of the season, tying him with Jim Benning and Doug Bodger for third-most ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday. Only Phil Housley (57) and Bobby Orr (38) tallied more as 18-year-old defensemen.

 

  • Jeff Skinner, who also assisted on Buffalo's goal, now has five points (2+3) in five games during this home stand and six points (3+3) in six games against Winnipeg since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.

 

Amerks jersey auction is live

Tweet from @AmerksHockey: LIVE NOW | #Amerks Game-Worn Jersey Auction! Bidding closes on Feb. 17th! --> https://t.co/ZheztPCC0C pic.twitter.com/PkUus5uLWn

Rochester also went 1-1 on the weekend. Full coverage is at Amerks.com. They're in Cleveland tomorrow.

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