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Sharpen Up: March 30, 2018

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Casey Mittelstadt picked up an assist in his first NHL game last night, but the Sabres were unable to earn two points against the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit battled back from a 2-0 deficit to win 6-3 at KeyBank Center. 

The Sabres are set to play Nashville tomorrow night in Music City.

Here's what you need to know.


About last night

Video: BUF Recap: Mittelstadt earns point in NHL debut

From the Lexus Postgame Report

Between the excitement surrounding Casey Mittelstadt's debut and the quick two-goal lead for the home team, there was a palpable energy at KeyBank Center in the early going of the Buffalo Sabres' game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. 

One mistake led to another, however, and eventually a series of miscues by the Sabres piled up into a 6-3 loss. 

Video: MITTELSTADT: Postgame

The Sabres led 2-0 by the 7:11 mark of the first period on the strength of goals from Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly. The lead was short-lived, as Dylan Larkin scored to put the Red Wings on the board just 30 seconds later. 

Video: EICHEL: Postgame

"It just seemed like we never really had our game going again after that," Eichel said. "There were spurts of it, there were some good things. But consistently, shift in and shift out, I thought it wasn't really where we wanted it to be.

"Every play matters. Every pass, every shot, everything. It all goes into winning hockey. I thought maybe there were times when we took shifts off or took plays off and let our foot off the gas."

Video: HOUSLEY: Postgame

"I think we just made too many critical mistakes at the wrong time," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "Whether it was just going back and retrieving the puck or that shorthanded goal [which] took a lot of wind out of our sails.

"You get within a goal, we're turning the puck over. We're trying to get our goalie off and we … turn the puck over. So, it's just a matter of mistakes and a little bit of special teams."

Video: DET@BUF: Rodrigues scores, Mittelstadt earns assist

Injury updates and other notes 

Tweet from @SabresPR: Sabres/Amerks injury report for Friday, March 30.

Robin Lehner left the game after the second period and was replaced by Chad Johnson. With Linus Ullmark already out with a concussion, the team recalled goaltender Adam Wilcox from the Rochester Americans (AHL) this morning.

Wilcox (6'0", 189 lbs., 11/26/1992) joins the Sabres for his first recall of the season after signing as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Currently in his fourth professional season, Wilcox has posted an 11-7-7 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.82 goals-against average in 28 games for the Amerks this season.

A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota, Wilcox has played in 104 career AHL contests, posting a 45-34-22 record with a .901 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average.

  • With his goal, Jack Eichel has now established a new career high in goals (25) and tied his career high in points (57).
  • Eichel has three goals in his last two games and six points (3+3) in his last six games against the Red Wings.
  • Ryan O'Reilly's goal gives him 24 points (10+14) in his last 24 home games.
  • Casey Mittlestadt, making his NHL debut, recorded his first career point with an assist on Evan Rodrigues' goal.

Fan Appreciation Night is Wednesday

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: FIRST LOOK: The Dominik Hasek Bobbleheads are in!Every fan attending our Fan Appreciation Night on April 4th will receive one. Be there:

Full details can be found here

Tickets are on sale now. 


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