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Sharpen Up: March 7, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Let's get right to it. The Sabres and Flyers are at it tonight at KeyBank Center. 

The game is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight and if you can't make it to the arena, you can watch on NBCSN. For a local flavor, RJ and Rayzor will be calling the game on WGR 550. 

This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Flyers this season. In the last meeting between these two clubs on Jan. 10, Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 4-1 on home ice.

Here's what you need to know.

With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won the season series between the teams for the second consecutive year. A win would also give the Sabres wins in three consecutive home games against the Flyers for the first time since Oct. 17, 2006 to Dec. 21, 2007.

Jack Eichel enters tonight's game on a career-best 10-game point streak (3+10). It's the longest active streak in the NHL and the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.

In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Eichel is tied for 10th among all NHL skaters with 42 points (16+26) and leads the league with 185 shots on goal.

Eichel's .93 points per game this season rank him 14th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

Evander Kane has 18 points (11+7) in his last 20 games, including nine goals in his last 13.

Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 11 of his last 16 games (1+10).

Ryan O'Reilly has recorded six points (3+3) during his current four-game point streak.

(That is all from the Game Notes, courtesy of our friends at @SabresPR.)


Injury update

The Sabres did not skate as a team yesterday, opting instead for a meeting after back-to-back games over the weekend. They're looking to shake off Sunday's loss to the Penguins and get themselves back in the playoff chase with only 16 games remaining.

Video: Sabres in :90 (3/6/17)

William Carrier, who has missed the past 16 games with a knee injury is still not skating. This is how Dan Bylsma explained Carrier's healing process:

"We'll pretend for a second that you're a golfer, and you take a divot, and every time you move you continue to take a swing at the same divot over and over and over again. That's what happened for him, and now it has to heal. We'd like him to move around and do so but every time you do, you're on the same spot."

Carrier's injury does not require surgery, so everyone is going to have to wait this one out.

Dmitry Kulikov, who sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday, is still considered day-to-day, but will not play in tonight's game.

The Sabres have also been without Johan Larsson since he crashed into the endboards on Dec. 31 and injured his wrist. The timetable for his recovery and rehab would have aligned very closely with the end of the regular season, but yesterday, Bylsma officially ruled him out for the rest of the year.   


On tap today

We'll have full pre- and postgame coverage for you on Dan Dunleavy will have your video preview while Jourdon LaBarber will handle the written Morning Skate Report. 

Also check out our weekly Amerks Update and a video featuring a fan's meet-and-greet experience with Dominik Hasek and Marty Biron. 

And on Saturday, we'll be debuting a new episode of Beyond Blue and Gold. It's an episode so big that we're taking up the full first intermission on MSG that night to tell the untold stories of the Ottawa Brawl Game of 2007. Stay tuned to The Instigators and our social media channels for exclusive clips this week. 

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