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Sharpen Up: Nov. 12, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

It was a disappointing result last night - mostly because of how it ended. Devils captain Andy Greene scored on a penalty shot in overtime to lift New Jersey over the Sabres 2-1 at KeyBank Center. Anders Nilsson was stellar in net, making 41 saves for Buffalo. 

The two teams will square off again tonight to wrap up the home-and-home series. Don't miss the TOPS Gamenight pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m. on MSG.

Here's what you need to know.

Video: BUF Recap: Moulson scores in overtime loss to Devils

From last night

Ryan O'Reilly played only two shifts in the third period after re-aggravating the injury that caused him to miss Wednesday's game. Cole Schneider played that game - and collected his first career point in the form of an assist - but served as the healthy scratch last night. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma considered O'Reilly questionable for tonight, but we should have more information later today.

Video: Dan Bylsma Postgame (11/11/16)

Tonight's game wraps up Buffalo's second of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with that 2-1 overtime loss last night in Buffalo. The Sabres are 1-0-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-0-0 in the second game so far this season.

Video: NILSSON: Postgame Interview vs. NJ

Robin Lehner is expected to be in goal tonight for Buffalo against Cory Schneider.


Power authority

Matt Moulson scored Buffalo's lone goal. All five of his goals so far this season have come on the power play, which ties him for the League lead in PPGs.

Video: Moulson: Postgame Interview vs. NJ

The Sabres' power play is currently ranked ninth in the league at 20.9 percent.   


Military Appreciation Night

Last night, the Sabres organization honored our armed forces with several tributes throughout the game. 

Here are the sights and sounds of Veterans Day:

Video: Military Appreciation Night Recap

Al McGrath, who has been a security guard at Sabres games for 25 years, was Matt Moulson's Tickets for Troops honoree last night. You've probably seen Al on TV or in photos keeping watch around the Sabres locker room or in the tunnel to the Sabres bench.

He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and among his many medals, he was awarded two Purple Hearts during his service. 

Al was gracious enough to share his story with us.

Video: Honoring veteran and arena security guard Al McGrath

I know everyone in the organization was especially happy to see Al be recognized. Thank you to Al and all of our troops and veterans.

It was a busy week for our Community Relations Department. They organized a few trips for the players to visit with veterans on Thursday. Lauren Hall will have more on the visit to the Naval Park in her blog next week. 

 Video: Sabres visit veterans

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation, in continuing its effort to support local military organizations, donated a total of $10,000 to the Veterans One-stop Center, WNY Heroes, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, and the Altamont Homeless Veterans Program.

A few of the players met with members of these organizations before the game for a multiple check presentation.

Video: Foundation donates to military organizations

Is this one of the coolest ceremonial faceoffs you've seen or what? 

Video: NJD@BUF: Veterans Day ceremonial puck drop in Buffalo

That's First Lieutenant Sean Lucas of the U.S. Army surprising everyone. Check out the surprised look on everyone's faces, especially on Marcus Foligno and Josh Gorges.

Those military-themed jerseys the players wore during warm-ups are also up for auction now. Click here to bid today.

Also, last night during the broadcast, we highlighted the Sabres' involvement in the Patriot Heights project. 

Video: Patriot Heights opens

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation, in conjunction with Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. and True Community Development Corporation, celebrated the grand opening of the Patriot Heights Apartments Project, which will provide affordable housing for single mothers who are military veterans, with a ribbon-cutting event at the facility earlier this month.


On tap today

Stay tuned for lineup news today as Jourdon LaBarber and Brian Duff are on site for us. Then join us for the pregame show at 6:30 p.m. with puck drop set for 7 p.m. from Prudential Center.

As Duffer always says, we'll see you then. 

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