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Sharpen Up: January 19, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

After a day off yesterday, the Buffalo Sabres will be back at work today at KeyBank Center. Tomorrow night, they'll host the Detroit Red Wings for a 7 p.m. faceoff. 

Here's what you need to know.

Tyler Ennis was held out of Tuesday's loss in Toronto due to precautionary measures so we'll check on his status at practice today. The Sabres are also without defensemen Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Josh Gorges (hip) and forward Johan Larsson (wrist) due to injury.

Buffalo is currently three points behind the Red Wings in the standings as both teams look to push for a position in the postseason. Detroit rallied back from a three-goal deficit last night to defeat the Bruins 6-5 in a shootout. 

Sooo chances are, they're feeling pretty good about themselves right now. 

UPDATE (10:55 A.M.) The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans (AHL).

Ullmark (6'4", 221 lbs., 7/31/1993) joins the team for his fourth recall of the 2016-17 season. Through 29 AHL games in his second AHL season, Buffalo's sixth-round pick (163rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft is 15-13-1 with a .908 save percentage.

The Lugnvik, Sweden native played 20 games for the Sabres as a rookie during the 2015-16 season, posting a .913 save percentage and a 2.60 goals-against average, but has not yet appeared in an NHL game this season. His 8-10-2 record in 2015-16 included wins in each of his last three NHL appearances.


We'll have more on what's up with Buffalo later today in our Ice Level Practice Report and our Sabres In :90 video recap. 


Future Goals 

The Sabres will also have some special guests at practice today. More than 2,500 local students will be in attendance as part of the NHL and NHLPA Future Goals program at KeyBank Center on Jan. 19. Future Goals focuses on using the game of hockey to teach science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Students will hear from a panel composed of former NHL players Kevyn Adams and Martin Biron, broadcaster Brian Duff, Equipment Manager Dave Williams and Director of Game Presentation Kelsey Schneider, as they discuss how hockey teaches fundamental STEM concepts. 

Future Goals is a partnership between the Buffalo Sabres, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association. Through the Future Goals digital learning initiative, students will build their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills using the fast-paced, exciting game of hockey as a learning vehicle. The program is committed to sparking student interest in STEM topics and helping students become college-ready, career-ready and life-ready.


The Alumni Wine Festival is back

This week, we announced that the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association is hosting the 13th annual Sabres Alumni Wine Festival on Wednesday, March 29 at KeyBank Center from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The event, co-sponsored by KeyBank, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and JW Danforth, will feature wineries and restaurants from Buffalo, Niagara on the Lake and beyond.

Attendees will have a chance to sample some of the finest wines and food that Western New York and Southern Ontario have to offer while socializing with Sabres legends and their wives. The festival will include music, auctions and raffles with unique items from the Buffalo Sabres and Sabres Alumni.

Tickets are $75 each and are available here. All proceeds from the event will benefit breast cancer care in Western New York. Sponsorship packages are also available for the event.

Wine Fest is just one of the many events that we have on tap for the rest of the season. For what's already gone down the past few weeks, Lauren Hall recapped our great off-ice events of 2017 (and a few more that are on tap).

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