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Sharpen Up: March 14, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

It's a late start on the East Coast for Buffalo as they're in San Jose tonight. It's a 10:30 p.m. ET faceoff but we'll start things off with the Tops Game Night pregame show at 10 on MSG. Dan and Rayzor have the call on WGR 550, too. 

The Sabres are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games against the Sharks. Buffalo has also won each of its five games in San Jose since the Sharks' last regulation win against the Sabres back on Jan. 23, 2010. 

Buffalo is currently on a franchise-best 11-game point streak (10-0-1) against the Sharks, dating back to a 3-1 win in Buffalo on Feb. 13, 2010. 

Here's what you need to know.

Hudson Fasching is back with the Sabres after Buffalo recalled him from Rochester yesterday. He practiced in San Jose and is looking forward to being in the lineup again at some point during the road trip (he was not part of any line rushes).  

Fasching sustained a groin injury during the sixth game of the season after making the team out of training camp. He was sent down to the AHL on Nov. 9. 

Upon arriving in Rochester however, the injury popped up again and he's played just 25 games for the Amerks, registering eight points (6+2). 

He was (surprise) all smiles after practice on Monday, ready for this new opportunity.

Video: FASCHING: After Practice

"Obviously it takes a while to get back but right now I feel good," he said. "I feel like my game is in a good spot. I try to keep progressing forward. It's back to where it needs to be, I just need to keep growing."

Video: BYLSMA: After Practice

"Finally getting healthy and having be to in Rochester and get his game, that's been a fairly long process and he's probably still in that process," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "Whether it was yesterday, today or tomorrow, I'd like to see Hudson get up and get in some games."

For more on Fasching's return and the impact Nicolas Deslauriers had on the last game - that 5-goal rally to beat Columbus on Saturday - check out Sabres In :90 with Brian Duff:

There's also a little bit more on all of that in Jourdon LaBarber's Ice Level Practice Report so check that out here. This is a little snippet of what else you'll find:

Video: Sabres in :90 (3/13/17)

"When I try to bring something, lately it's been fighting and now, when you get on the board and help the guys do something else like that, it's fun," Deslauriers said. "All of the guys have been supportive. Sometimes I can play nine minutes, I can play four or six. It's just the job that I have is not always in the spotlight, but it's fun to hear that from him specially."


Tonight's matchup

The Sharks are currently on top of the Pacific Division with 89 points. Joe Pavelski is coming off NHL First Star of the Week honors after racking up five goals and an assist over four games. 

San Jose is in the midst of a six-game homestand. They defeated the Stars 5-1 on Sunday. 

The Sabres, meanwhile, are going to try and build off that last win and they'll and capitalize on all of that historic success against the Sharks.

A few players will also try to keep their hands hot.

Evander Kane has 22 points (13+9) in his last 23 games, including 11 goals in his last 16.

Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 14 of his last 19 games (2+13).

Ryan O'Reilly has recorded eight points (3+7) in his last seven games. He has totaled 11 points (4+7) in his last 12 games against San Jose.

And captain Brian Gionta has six points (2+4) in his last four games against the Sharks.

Tonight marks the first of a three-game California road trip. They'll be in Los Angeles on Thursday and Anaheim on Friday. They'll then have a game in Detroit on Monday before returning home for a Tuesday night game against Pittsburgh. 


On tap today

We'll have full Morning Skate coverage once the team hits the ice at SAP Center. That'll be at around 2:30 p.m. ET. Then stay up late with us for the game and come back tomorrow morning for another edition of Sharpen Up as well as full postgame coverage. 

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