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Sharpen Up: November 18, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Welcome to the Friday edition of Sharpen Up. The Sabres lost last night to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1, extending their winless streak to six games. They had some Grade-A scoring chances, but were unable to capitalize, which has been a running theme throughout this last stretch of games.

Only Cody Franson was able to solve Ben Bishop, marking the first goal for a Sabres defenseman this season.

Here's what you need to know.

Video: BUF Recap: Franson scores, Lehner strong in 4-1 loss

An unhappy bunch

Here's some postgame reaction for you to go with Jourdon LaBarber's written recap

 Video: BYLSMA: Postgame

Video: KANE: Postgame interview

Video: FRANSON: Postgame

Video: OKPOSO: Postgame

Buffalo's four-game homestand continues tomorrow night when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.

If you're planning on coming to the game, the I-90 Eastbound ramp to the I-190 Northbound and the I-190 Southbound ramp to the I-90 Eastbound will be closed this weekend, which will affect anyone arriving to and leaving the game on Saturday. Please check for more information and detour maps.


Turkeys for Tickets

The Buffalo Sabres today announced they will once again partner with TOPS Friendly Markets and Entercom Buffalo for a Thanksgiving turkey drive on Monday to benefit local food pantries. The turkey drive will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. in these locations:

• KeyBank Center Surface Lot (Enter lot from Baltimore Street, via Perry Street)
• Tops Market in Tonawanda (890 Young St., Tonawanda, N.Y. 14150)
• Tops Market in West Seneca (355 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca, N.Y. 14224)

The annual Thanksgiving turkey drive returns this season after collecting more than 2,000 pounds of turkey last year. For every 20-pound turkey dropped off, or the equivalent of a 20-pound turkey, the Sabres will give away two tickets to an upcoming game to the donor. Tickets (maximum of four per person) will be distributed immediately at the drop-off sites.

All of the donated turkeys will directly benefit the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.

Click here for more details.

Learn to Play program

Pat Kaleta has a new role within the Sabres organization as a youth hockey ambassador. Kaleta will implement and manage the Buffalo Sabres' Learn to Play program.

Developed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada, the NHL/NHLPA Learn to Play initiative aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs with the goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community. 

Learn to Play enhances the way youth hockey is offered by providing first-time participants from ages 4 to 8 with free head-to-toe equipment, age-appropriate instruction, and certified coaching led by NHL Alumni in a fun and safe atmosphere. 

All Buffalo Sabres Learn to Play participants will be outfitted by Pure Hockey, the official hockey retail partner of the Buffalo Sabres and HarborCenter.

Focusing primarily on the Western New York region, Kaleta will also serve as a liaison to the local high school hockey community and will provide additional support and instruction for other youth hockey initiatives.

Please visit for more information on the program.

On tap today

Buffalo is back at practice today at KeyBank Center. We'll have to see if any of the injured players (including Ryan O'Reilly and Dmitry Kulikov) are back with the team. Jourdon will have your written Ice Level Practice Report and Brian Duff will have your Sabres in :90 video feature.

We'll be back tomorrow with a gameday edition of Sharpen Up. Then stick with us throughout the day for morning skate coverage and the TOPS Gamenight pregame show at 6:30 p.m. on MSG. Faceoff between the Sabres and Penguins is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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