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Sharpen Up: March 9, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Looking to put the last loss behind them, the Sabres return to practice today at HarborCenter. 

Buffalo has back-to-back games this weekend as they open up a home-and-home series against the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow at Nationwide Arena. They'll meet again on Saturday here in Buffalo.

Here's what you need to know.

It's hard to believe, but the Sabres and Blue Jackets have not yet played each other this season. And they'll become very familiar with each other in the near future. In addition to this weekend's games, they'll also face off on March 28 in Columbus. 

The Sabres have 15 games remaining on their schedule and have 66 points. They're going to need to first and foremost help themselves by earning two points pretty much every night from here on help - and then they may need some help on top of it all. Either way, getting back into the thick of the playoff chase.

Columbus, meanwhile, are winners of their last two games, including a 2-0 win against New Jersey on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points, five back of first-place Washington. 

Sergei Bobrovsky has earned shutouts in each of his last three games played. 

If you're looking to come to our either of our next two home games, there might be a deal in the My One Buffalo app you'll want to take advantage of:
Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Only on @myonebuffalo: An exclusive ticket offer for 2 upcoming games.Download-��: ��:


In Amerks news…

The Sabres announced yesterday that the team has reassigned forward Cal O'Reilly to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. In a corresponding move, the Rochester Americans have recalled forward Matthew Lane from the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL.

Lane, 22, returns to Rochester after appearing in nine games with the Amerks this season, recording one assist. A native of Rochester, N.Y., Lane has also registered 24 points (11+13) in 45 games for Elmira to rank second among team rookies and fourth overall among Jackals skaters.

Prior to signing an AHL contract with his hometown Amerks, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward played four seasons at Boston University, collecting 69 points (33+36) in 152 career games with the Terriers. In his final campaign with BU, Lane had a career-high of 28 points (14+14) while appearing in all 39 games and serving as an assistant captain.

O'Reilly did not play last night as the Amerks defeated the Marlies 4-3 at BlueCross Arena. Alexander Nylander potted the game winner with 1:20 remaining in regulation. More on that here.

 TOR 3 - RCH 4

And the Amerks are home again tomorrow for Irish Night. Check out a special Ticket & T-Shirt offer here.

Wine Fest is coming up

As Brian Duff noted in yesterday's #Duffalo blog (along with other thoughts and stories you shouldn't miss), this year's Alumni Wine Festival is quickly approaching. 

Join us on March 29 at KeyBank Center for the 13th annual event co-sponsored by KeyBank, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, Fallsview Casino Resort, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and JW Danforth, which will feature wineries and restaurants from Buffalo, Niagara on the Lake and beyond. 

Attendees will have a chance to sample some of the finest wines and food that Western New York and Southern Ontario have to offer while socializing with Sabres legends and their wives. The festival will include music, auctions and raffles with unique items from the Buffalo Sabres and Sabres Alumni.

It's worth checking out the player or alumni "Favorite Things" baskets that you'll have a chance to win that night.

And for another way to support the Sabres Foundation…

Don't miss out on the current game-worn jersey auction that's running now on It features home and away jerseys from this season that include the NHL Centennial sleeve patch logo. All jerseys come with a certificate of authenticity.

On tap today

We'll have full practice coverage for you today. Jourdon LaBarber will have the Ice Level Practice Report and Brian Duff will tackle Sabres in :90.

Also stay tuned to The Instigators and our social media accounts for a new teaser of the latest episode of Beyond Blue and Gold, which airs during the entire first intermission of Saturday's game. 

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