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Sharpen Up: March 2, 2018

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It's a game night in Sunrise, Fla. 

The Sabres will be looking for their third-straight victory when they visit the Florida Panthers tonight to conclude a two-game road trip in the Sunshine State. Coverage on MSG-B begins at 7 p.m., or you can listen live on WGR 550. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30. 

Here's what you need to know.


Tonight's game

Kyle Okposo is expected to be back in the lineup after missing the team's win in Tampa on Wednesday to be with his wife as she went into labor (the couple had a baby girl). The Sabres are coming off wins over the Eastern Conference's top two teams in Tampa Bay and Boston. 

Their next challenge is a Panthers team in the midst of as strong a playoff push as any. The Panthers are 11-3-0 in their last 14 games and picked up their fourth-straight victory against New Jersey on Thursday. They sit three points out of the second wild card spot with three games in hand. 

As for the Sabres, here are a few notes from Sabres PR:

The Sabres enter tonight's game with a 5-0-1 record in their last six games against Atlantic Division opponents and an 8-6-3 record against the division this season.

The Sabres enter tonight's game with a 6-1-1 record in their last eight road games. Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 13 points (4+9) in his last 13 road games, while Sam Reinhart has totaled nine points (3+6) in his last nine road games.

Chad Johnson is 4-1-0 with a .939 save percentage in his last six appearances. He's stopped 78 of 82 shots faced in his last three road games (.351), winning all three of those contests.

Evan Rodrigues has nine points (4+5) in his last 11 games after scoring the tying goal in Tampa on Wednesday.


Americans Made

The latest episode in our Americans Made series focuses on Chris Taylor and his first season as head coach of the Amerks. Check it out below:

Video: Americans Made: Chris Taylor

The Amerks return to action in Toronto at 4 p.m. on Saturday,


On Tap

The Sabres will take the ice for their morning skate in Sunrise around 11:30 a.m. Stay tuned to and @BuffaloSabres for lineup info, including tonight's goaltender, and more. 

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