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Sharpen Up: March 29, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 last night at Nationwide Arena. Evan Rodrigues continued his strong rookie campaign, scoring Buffalo's lone goal on the power play. 

With the man advantage, Buffalo is tops in the NHL at 25.3 percent (57 for 225). They're a full two-percentage points higher than Toronto, who is second. They've now scored five power-play goals over the past three games and are now 7-for-10 on the power play in their last five games.

However, with the loss, their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes have been dashed and they have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Here's what you need to know. 


About last night

 Video: BUF Recap: Offense stalls in lose to Blue Jackets

The Sabres put 42 shots on Sergei Bobrovsky, but were only able to beat him once. 

From the Game Recap:

Video: RODRIGUES: Postgame Interview

Bobrovsky, coming off of a shutout against Philadelphia in his last game, made 41 saves in an effort that proved to be the difference in a 3-1 victory for the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Buffalo Sabres at Nationwide Arena. 

"Honestly, I think we were the better team today," Sabres goaltender Anders Nilsson said. "We deserved to win but Bobrovsky played great for them."

Video: OREILLY: Postgame Interview

The Blue Jackets got all of their offense during a three-minute stretch in which they controlled the pace of play late in the first period. Kyle Quincey opened the scoring with 5:13 left in the period, intercepting a clearing attempt at the blue line and beating Nilsson with a shot through traffic. Cam Atkinson extended the Columbus lead to 2-0 when he lifted a puck over Nilsson's shoulder 2:59 later.

Video: NILSSON: Postgame Interview

Looking at the stat sheet, it's impossible to miss the fact that Sam Reinhart dressed, sat on the bench, but did not play at all in the game. According to coach Dan Bylsma, Reinhart violated a team policy earlier in the day, and the discipline was not playing in the game.

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview

"It's tough, but we're trying to build something here and we're trying to maintain a culture," captain Brian Gionta said. "By no means was it something huge, but it's something that was against what we're trying to get to and be as a team so obviously it unfolded like it did."

Video: GIONTA: Postgame Interview

 Kyle Okposo also missed the game due to illness. 


Wine Fest is tonight

Don't miss your chance to be a part of the Sabres Alumni Wine Festival tonight. Tickets are still on sale here.

The players' and alumni's "Favorite Things" basket raffle is one of the highlights of the event. What's going to end up in Marcus Foligno's basket? We went shopping with him and his wife Natascia earlier this month:

Video: Alumni Wine Festival Basket Shopping

On tap today

The Sabres are off today so we'll have practice updates for you tomorrow. Buffalo does not play again until Saturday for Family Appreciation Day. More details all of our Fan Appreciation events can be found here.



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