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Sharpen Up: February 16, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Following their come-from-behind victory on Tuesday in Ottawa, the Sabres spent Wednesday away from the rink. But they'll be back at it with today's Morning Skate as they prepare for a three-game homestand this weekend that opens up tonight against Colorado. 

The Sabres and Avalanche will face off at 7:30 p.m. tonight from KeyBank Center. If you aren't coming to the game (and if you want to, get your tickets here), you can watch it on NBCSN or listen to Dan and Rayzor's call live on WGR 550. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

From the Game Notes

Robin Lehner started both games against the Avalanche for the Sabres last season, stopping 67 of 70 total shots (.957 save percentage). He's started the last four games for Buffalo and we'll know soon if he'll get the call again or if Anders Nilsson will see his first action since Feb. 7.

Kyle Okposo has points in 11 of his last 15 games, including each of his last seven (3+4). With a point tonight, he would tie his career-best mark of eight games, originally set from March 7 to 21, 2009 and matched from Dec. 17, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.

Ryan O'Reilly has 18 points (5+13) in his last 20 games. He also has 16 points (5+11) in his last 14 home games.

Jack Eichel has logged 15 points (5+10) in his last 15 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.

In 17 home games this season, Eichel has 16 points (7+9), including six multi-point outings.

Evander Kane has 11 points (6+5) in his last 11 games.

Sam Reinhart has five points (1+4) in his last five games, and 12 points (4+8) in his last 13 home games.

Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in five of his last seven games (1+4).

Tonight is the Sabres' fourth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference. Buffalo is 12-3-3 in its last 18 home games against Western Conference opponents and 10-6-2 in all games against the West this season.

And with a win tonight, the Sabres will have won back-to-back games against the Avalanche for the first time since they won three straight from Mar. 24, 2003 to Dec. 4, 2005. The team last won consecutive home games against Colorado as part of a three-game streak from March 28, 1995 to Nov. 14, 1996.

 

On tap today

Stay with us for full pregame coverage today. Jourdon LaBarber will provide the words. Brian Duff will provide the visuals.

(And we hope you didn't miss yesterday's new installment of Duffer's #Duffalo blog. No excuses...read it here.)

Then after the game, we'll have full postgame highlights and reaction from the locker room. 

We'll also have another entry in our "Diamond In The Rough" series today. We've already profiled Anders Nilsson and William Carrier so we'll go back into Sabres history to feature Yuri Khmylev and his journey from Russia to the NHL.

If you missed those first two videos (or if you want to watch them again), here they are:
 Video: Diamond in the Rough: Anders Nilsson

Video: Diamond in the Rough: William Carrier

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