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Sharpen Up: February 7, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Right back at it in this busy, busy month. The Sabres host San Jose at KeyBank Center for a 7 p.m. matchup. We'll be on the air at 6:30 for the TOPS Game Night pregame show on MSG. You can also listen to Dan and Rayzor's call live on WGR 550.

Buffalo will not skate this morning following their 2-1 loss at New Jersey last night, but will meet as they prepare for the Sharks. We'll have full lineup news and notes for you later this morning. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

About last night

Video: BUF Recap: Ennis scores in 2-1 loss to the Devils

The Sabres gave up two power-play goals last night on four opportunities and that proved to be the difference at Prudential Center. 

Tyler Ennis scored Buffalo's lone goal and Robin Lehner turned in a 37-save performance for the second straight game. Here's Jourdon LaBarber's game recap.

Let's listen in to some locker room reaction:

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview

Video: LEHNER: Postgame Interview

 Video: ENNIS: Postgame Interview

Video: GIRGENSONS: Postgame Interview 

 

Tonight's matchup

History has been on Buffalo's side against the Sharks. 

From the Game Notes…

The Sharks have only won two games in Buffalo in the franchise's history (Dec. 2, 2005 and Nov. 14, 2015). The Sabres are 16-1-1 all-time in Buffalo against the Sharks.

The Sabres are currently on a franchise-best 10-game point streak (9-0-1) against the Sharks, dating back to a 3-1 win in Buffalo on Feb. 13, 2010. The previous record was five games (3-0-2), set from March 12, 1998 to Dec. 23, 2000.

Lehner is 5-2-1 with a .930 save percentage so far in 2017. 

Anders Nilsson is 6-1-1 at home this season, with a .946 save percentage and a 1.84 goals-against average in those games, and has won each of his last five home games.

Ennis enters tonight's game on a three-game point streak (1+2).

Ryan O'Reilly has 13 points (3+10) in 15 games since returning from an absence due to an appendectomy. O'Reilly has 12 points (3+9) in his last 11 home games.

Jack Eichel has logged four two-point games in his last 10 outings. He also has 13 points (6+7) in 14 home games this season, including five multi-point outings.

Sam Reinhart has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 home games.

Tonight's game warps up Buffalo's ninth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, after a 2-1 loss at New Jersey last night. The Sabres are 4-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-4-1 in the second game so far this season. 

Buffalo's point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (1), one point (1) and zero points (2).


You Can Play Night

It's You Can Play Night at KeyBank Center, advocating for, according to the You Can Play project's mission statement, "the safety and inclusion of all in sports - including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success." 

There will be many events taking place throughout the night. Gay & Lesbian Youth Services and the Pride Center of WNY will have tables set up in the 100 Level pavilion prior to the game against the San Jose Sharks. 

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation will also be donating $5,000 to both the Gay & Lesbian Youth Services and the Pride Center of WNY. 

Some Sabres players will be using Pride Tape on their sticks during pregame warm-ups in support of the evening. Each stick will be auctioned online at sabres.com/auctions beginning at 9:30 p.m. tonight. 

Proceeds from the auction, which ends on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m., will benefit You Can Play.

 

Showdown continues

Last night, we watched Jake McCabe go head to head against Jack Eichel. Tonight, how will Brian Gionta fair against Zemgus Girgensons? Watch live during the broadcast to find out. 

Video: Showdown: McCabe vs. Eichel

All of the matchups as they air can be found here.

 

On tap today

Stick with us for the Morning Skate Report and Brian Duff's video preview after we talk to players and coach Dan Bylsma. 

We'll also have our weekly Amerks Update for you.

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