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Sharpen Up: November 10, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

A point's a point. The Sabres earned one last night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Nicholas Baptiste scored Buffalo's lone goal and Robin Lehner continued his strong play against Ottawa with 28 saves.

The Sabres will not prepare for back-to-back against New Jersey. Buffalo will host the Devils tomorrow as part of Military Appreciation Night and will travel to Newark right after the game for another game Saturday night at Prudential Center. 

Here's what you need to know.


From last night

Video: BUF Recap: Baptiste scores lone goal in shootout loss

The Sabres had a strong showing in overtime, recording eight shots in overtime - including one that, as Jourdon LaBarber describes in the game recap just didn't bounce their way. 

Buffalo fell one shot shy of the franchise overtime record of nine on Feb. 1, 2000 against Anaheim. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 8-0 shot differential in overtime tied the franchise record for largest overtime shot differential, matching the 9-1 mark in that game against the Ducks.

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview


Medical report

Evander Kane made his return after cracking a few ribs in the season opener as a result of a heavy crash into the end boards. He finished the game with 22:09 of ice time, two shots on net and four more shot attempts (two blocked and two missed) and two hits. 

Video: KANE: Postgame Interview

"Did I like him?" coach Dan Bylsma said when asked about Kane's game. "He played a lot of minutes, added speed to our game. You saw that right off the hop. I liked him."

Ryan O'Reilly and Tyler Ennis both missed the game due to injury. O'Reilly is day to day with an upper-body injury. Bylsma said he could have an update on Ennis after practice today.

Cole Schneider was called up from the Rochester Americans and picked up his first career point when he assisted on Baptiste's goal 2:49 into the game. Derek Grant also recorded his first point as a Sabre with the secondary assist. 

Video: SCHNEIDER: Postgame Interview

Video: BAPTISTE: Postgame Interview

In a corresponding move, Hudson Fasching was assigned to the Amerks. He'd been recovering from a groin injury that caused him to miss five games.

Drop the puck

Faceoff duties were dispersed among the lineup as eight players ended up taking draws with O'Reilly, the No. 2 faceoff man in the League, out. Buffalo won 54 percent of the faceoffs last night as Grant and Johan Larsson carried the load. Grant went 14-for 20 in the faceoff circle (70 percent) and Larsson when 9-for-19 (47 percent). 


Ice hogs

At 29:57, Rasmus Ristolainen recorded the second-highest ice time of his career, falling 18 seconds short of his 30:15 TOI on Jan. 18, 2016 at Arizona.

Jake McCabe logged his highest ice time of the season (22:51) and tied his career high with four shots on goal. The last time he did that was on Feb. 16, 2016 at Ottawa.

Military Appreciation Night Info

Once again, tomorrow's game is dedicated to honoring both current and former members of our nation's armed forces and will feature several tributes throughout the night.

The Sabres are offering all active, reserve, National Guard and retired military personnel the opportunity to purchase tickets in the 300 Level for $25. To order these tickets, please visit Military members will also receive a 25 percent discount at the Sabres Store tomorrow.

Sabres players will wear special camouflage jerseys during warm-ups. The jerseys will be auctioned on from tomorrow following the game until Nov. 20 at 9 p.m., and proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

Captain Brian Gionta will host children of military families in his suite. Those military members will be invited down for a meet-and-greet with the players following the game. 

The Sabres will also donate more than 150 tickets to members of the Veterans One-stop Center and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. Fans will have an opportunity to sign thank you boards during the game. The boards will be located on the 100 Level at the top of the escalators and will be sent to military personnel.

In support of active military, Crown Royal and the Sabres have announced a bag collection program. Beginning tomorrow, the team will be collecting the iconic velvet Crown Royal bags from fans at KeyBank Center. All collected bags will be filled with personal care items and donated to active military personnel. Crown Royal will also make a donation to United Service Organizations (USO) for each bag that is collected. Fans who drop off a velvet bag at KeyBank Center will receive a 10-percent discount at the Sabres Store.

During the game, information tables will be set up around the 100 Level by the Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York as well as the WNY Heroes, who are bringing some of their dogs from their service dogs program. The United Way will also have a table selling "Operation United" T-shirts.

Check out more info on what will be happening here.  

There are also two season-long programs dedicated to honoring local veterans at our home games this year.

To sign up for Matt Moulson's Tickets for Troops program, click here.

BlueCross BlueShield of WNY is also continuing to donate tickets and honor a local veteran on the ice during the national anthems. To register for this program, please click here.


On tap today

The Sabres return to practice at 11:30 a.m. at KeyBank Center. We'll have full coverage of practice with a written report from Jourdon and a Sabres in :90 from Brian Duff.

After practice, Sabres players will visit the VA Hospital and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.


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