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Sharpen Up: November 19, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The champs are here. Excuse me, let me clear my throat so I don't sound so much like DJ Pauly D. The champs are here at KeyBank Center tonight as the Sabres are set to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Join us for the TOPS Gamenight pregame show starting at 6:30 p.m. on MSG. Faceoff is set for just after 7.

Here's what you need to know.

Video: Sabres in :90 (11/18/16)

The Sabres are looking to avoid the team's first four-game regulation losing streak since they lost six straight from Dec. 28, 2015 to Jan. 8, 2016 and its first seven-game winless streak since March 2015. They're 0-4-2 over their last six games.

The scoring chances have certainly been there, but the finish has not. Here's yesterday's Ice Level Practice Report, where the team talks about trying to limit the other team's chances - and how that might open up offensive opportunities.

 Video: BYLSMA: After Practice

Comin' up

Last night, the Rochester Americans lost 4-3 in a shootout to the St. John's IceCaps on home ice. Today, the Sabres recalled forwards Cal O'Reilly and Cole Schneider from the Rochester Americans (AHL).

O'Reilly (6'0", 193 lbs., 9/30/1986) joins the Sabres for his first recall of the season. He is currently leading the AHL with 18 points (3+15) and has recorded 10 points (1+9) in his last seven games. Last season, the Toronto, Ontario native registered seven points (3+4) in 20 games for the Sabres.

A native of Williamsville, New York, Schneider (6'1", 200 lbs., 8/26/1990) is currently tied for second in AHL scoring with 17 points (7+10). He has played two games for the Sabres this season and recorded his first career NHL assist against Ottawa on Nov. 9.

O'Reilly and Schneider are the top two scorers in the AHL so far this season. Buffalo is looking for a scoring boost so we'll see if these two vets can provide it.

Yesterday, the team sent down Nicholas Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues.

 

Traffic alert

The Thruway Authority announced bridge repair work on the New York State Thruway (I-90) at exit 53 (Downtown Buffalo - I-190) beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, November 18 until 2 a.m. Monday, November 21.

The following closures are necessary to allow the permanent repairs to safely occur: 

I-90 Westbound at exit 53 Closure Schedule:
· Single Lane Closure 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday

· Double Lane Closure 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday

· Full Westbound Road Closure 10 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday

· Single Lane Closure 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday

· Double Lane Closure 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

· Full Westbound Road Closure 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday

Detour Route - Motorists traveling I-90 westbound will be detoured at Exit 52A (Buffalo - William Street) during the westbound full closure time periods. Motorists are advised to follow the signed detour route and avoid the area if possible. The detour map can be found here.
 

I-190 Southbound to I-90 Eastbound Ramp Closure Schedule:
· Full Closure 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday

Detour Route - Motorists on I-190 southbound seeking to travel I-90 eastbound will be detoured on I-90 westbound to exit 55 (Springville-US Route 219-Ridge Road). Motorists are advised to follow the signed detour route. The detour map can be found here.
 
I-90 Eastbound to I-190 Northbound Ramp Closure Schedule:
· Full Closure 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday

Detour Route - Motorists on I-90 eastbound seeking to travel I-190 northbound will be detoured to exit 52 (Buffalo - Cheektowaga - Walden Avenue). Motorists are advised to follow the signed detour route. The detour map can be found here.
 

Variable Message Signs (VMS) across the region and Highway Advisory Radio 530 AM will advise motorists about the upcoming closures and expected delays. Motorists are strongly advised to avoid travel in this area during this time.

Motorists can sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding Thruway traffic conditions at https://wwwapps.thruway.ny.gov/tas/.

 

On tap today 

Stick with us through the Morning Skate. We'll have lineup news and notes. Jourdon LaBaber will have the written report while Dan Dunleavy will provide the video preview. 

Then it's gametime at 7 p.m. 

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