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Sharpen Up: February 15, 2019

Here's what you need to know before tonight's game against the Rangers

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The seven-game homestand wraps up tonight. The New York Rangers are here and faceoff from KeyBank Center is set for just after 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

RJ and Rayzor will have the call on MSG and WGR 550 following the GMC Game Night pregame show at 6:30 on MSG.

Here's what you need to know.


Thursday's practice


From the Ice Level practice report…

Zach Bogosian was back on the ice with his teammates, skating on a fourth defense pair with Nathan Beaulieu. The same goes for Casey Mittelstadt, who was back skating as an extra forward after missing the game against the Islanders with a lower-body injury.

Housley did not rule either player out for Friday's home game against the New York Rangers.

"It was good to see them out there in a real practice," Housley said. "We'll know tomorrow at the pregame skate, but it's good that they're getting up to speed."

Here's how the Sabres lined up on Thursday:

53 Jeff Skinner - 9 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
43 Conor Sheary - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 23 Sam Reinhart
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 22 Johan Larsson - 21 Kyle Okposo
49 C.J. Smith - 17 Vladimir Sobotka - 72 Tage Thompson
37 Casey Mittelstadt

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
26 Rasmus Dahlin - 48 Matt Hunwick
19 Jake McCabe - 24 Lawrence Pilut
82 Nathan Beaulieu - 4 Zach Bogosian

35 Linus Ullmark
40 Carter Hutton

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Housley

We also looked into the impact Matt Hunwick has had both on the ice and off. You can read more on that here.  

We'll have full morning skate coverage for you here on so check back in for lineup updates.

Tonight's matchup 

From the Game Notes…

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-1 in New York on Nov. 4, 2018
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-5-2 at home.


  • Tonight's matchup is the final game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.


  • With at least a point in each of the six games during the homestand (2+6), Jack Eichel is looking to extend his point streak to seven games for the second time this season.
  • Eichel has recorded 11 points (4+7) in 11 career games against the New York, making the Rangers one of 15 NHL teams he has tallied at least a point per game against.
  • With 29 points (11+18) in 27 home games, Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season.


  • Jeff Skinner leads all Sabres with 30 points (18+12) in 29 home games this season.


  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 25 points (6+19) in 23 home games since the beginning of November, posting nine multi-point home games during that stretch.
  • Reinhart has also recorded eight points (2+6) in eight games against New York dating back to the beginning of the 2016-17 season.


  • Conor Sheary has recorded five points (4+1) in his last five games against the Rangers, including goals in both of the previous meetings this season (3+0).


Bald For Bucks continues

Video: Bald For Bucks 2019
If you're coming to the game tonight, you could win a postgame meet-and-greet with Rasmus Dahlin if you make a donation at the Bald For Bucks table in the concourse.

Also, don't forget that Martin Biron and Dan Dunleavy will be shaving their heads during the broadcast on March 1. Details on how you can support them can be found at

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