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Sharpen Up: March 24, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The NHL Department of Player Safety handed out a three-game suspension to Rasmus Ristolainen yesterday. Ristolainen was assessed a five-minute interference major and a game misconduct on Tuesday when he hit Penguins forward Jake Guentzel in the first period. 

With Ristolainen set to serve the suspension, it's a good thing the Sabres got some healthy bodies back at practice yesterday.

Here's what you need to know.

This is the NHL's explanation of the ruling:

So the Sabres are set to be down a defenseman tomorrow night when they host Toronto. 

On the blue line, they've already been without Dmitry Kulikov for nine games with an upper-body injury, Justin Falk for four games with a calf injury, Cody Franson for two games with an undisclosed injury and Taylor Fedun for two games as well with a foot injury. 

Kulikov was on the ice for practice at HarborCenter yesterday and is tracking to return to the lineup tomorrow. 

Video: BYLSMA: After Practice

It's possible that one of Franson, Falk or Fedun could practice today and play Saturday. The Sabres sent Brady Austin and Casey Nelson down to Rochester on Wednesday, where the Amerks are set to play a three-in-three starting tonight at home. 

At forward, Kyle Okposo and William Carrier were full participants at practice. Okposo was the team's leading scorer before sustaining a rib injury on March 2. 

For more on what team has been missing in his absence, check out yesterday's Sabres in :90 with Brian Duff:

Video: Sabres in :90 (3/23/17)

And Jourdon LaBarber has more on all of the injury updates as well as the line combinations in the Ice Level Practice Report


John Scott: Champion

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Congrats to the winners of the Corporate Challenge! John Scott, Matt Ellis & Yuri Khmylev were on the winning teams! ��

No word on if he was named the MVP of his Corporate Challenge team. Thanks to all of the participants who helped raise money for the Buffalo Sabres Foundation yesterday.


Celebrity KeyBall tomorrow night

Rayzor and Pat Kaleta will go head-to-head during the first intermission to see who can win more for his favorite charity.

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: .@robray32 and @patrick_kaleta are getting ready to square @keybank


On tap today

We'll have full practice coverage for you as the Sabres get set for the Maple Leafs. 

Also stay tuned for our latest Diamond In The Rough feature. 

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