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Sharpen Up: March 17, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Another game in Los Angeles, another 2-0 loss. It's the fourth time in a row that's happened as the Sabres dropped the second game of their three-game road trip through California.

And as with so many other games this year, there's a quick turnaround time for the next one. Tonight closes out Buffalo's 15th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season with a visit to Anaheim for a 10 p.m. faceoff against the Ducks tonight. 

The Tops Game Night pregame show is set to begin at 9:30 on MSG. You can also listen to the game live on WGR 550. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

One more look at yesterday

Video: BUF Recap: Sabres struggle in 2-0 loss vs. Kings

From the game recap:

Jarome Iginla broke a scoreless tie 36 seconds into the third period, Adrian Kempe added another goal late and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves as the Sabres left Los Angeles with a 2-0 loss for the fourth time in their last four visits.

Video: LEHNER: Postgame Interview

"We don't go out and deserve it," Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said. "You can't wait for them to score the first goal and then wake up. It's not how the game is played. They're a big, solid, good team; they're going to shut you down. We had a couple of shots, couple of chances, but they kept us a little to the outside. It's just frustrating to see because when we turn it on in the third, we play really good."

Video: O'REILLY: Postgame Interview

"It wasn't the start we wanted," alternate captain Ryan O'Reilly said. "They took it to us and we were just watching. We've got to find a way to simplify but possess the puck at the same time. We've got to play heavier below the goal line. I felt it was a grittier game, with just a lot of holds and the picks that they were doing, it was tough. It was tough to generate chances."

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview

"I thought it was a game exactly like we thought it was going to be," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was going to be a hard-fought game, we thought it was going to be a battle for every inch of ice. We we're in that fight. I thought our guys were in that fight. Jack [Eichel] was clawing and scratching for every inch he could get in the second and third periods. It's just a sign of how tough it is against a playoff-caliber team."

Video: GORGES: Postgame Interview


Tonight's matchup

It's the second and final meeting between the Sabres and Ducks. In their last meeting, Corey Perry led the way for the Ducks with two goals and an assist in a 5-2 Anaheim win.  

The Sabres are 8-8-0 on the road against the Ducks all-time, but they've also had more success preventing goals from going in against the Ducks than any other team.

The Sabres have shut out the Ducks seven times in the 33 all-time games between the clubs (Dominik Hasek-3, Martin Biron-2, Chad Johnson-1, Ryan Miller-1). This amounts to one shutout for every 4.71 meetings, the Sabres' highest shutout-to-games ratio against any NHL team.

This ratio is so much higher against the Ducks than the next closest opponent that the Ducks would have to score a goal in each of the next 26 meetings between the teams for the ratio to fall behind the next highest current ratio (Columbus, three shutouts in 25 games - 8.33 games per shutout).

The Sabres' last shutout against the Ducks occurred three meetings ago (Dec. 17, 2015 in Buffalo).

 

It was 20 years ago today…

Donald Audette scored twice and Rob Ray fought Jeff Odgers to become the 30th player in NHL history to record 2,000 penalty minutes in his career during a 5-1 win at home against Boston.


On tap today

Stick with us for all of your lineup news and notes throughout the day. We'll have full postgame coverage as well, including highlights, locker room reaction and our handy dandy game recap.

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