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Sharpen Up: November 21, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Sabres are back in action tonight, coming off the heels of a 2-1 shootout win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Anders Nilsson and Cal O'Reilly were the heroes in that one. Nilsson made 46 saves through regulation and overtime, and then made three more stops in the shootout. O'Reilly put home the game-deciding goal in the skills competition.

The Sabres held an optional skate after team meetings yesterday as they prepare for a match against the Calgary Flames tonight at KeyBank Center. The TOPS Gamenight pregame show starts at 6:30 p.m. on MSG with puck drop slated for 7 p.m. 

Here's what you need to know.


From yesterday

Video: BYLSMA: After Practice

The Sabres are still battling some injuries and a lot of players have been up and down from the Rochester Americans in recent weeks. Taylor Fedun has now played two games in Buffalo after being called up for Thursday's game and is looking to open some eyes and hopefully earn a longer look in the NHL.

He's picked an assist in each of the last two games and played 15:21 on Saturday while earning time on the first power-play unit. 

Jourdon LaBarber chatted with the defenseman yesterday.

Meanwhile, Brian Duff caught up with Jake McCabe

 Video: Sabres in :90 (11/20/16)


Saturday rewind

Video: Nilsson, Sabres edge Penguins in SO

Buffalo snapped a six-game winless streak with the win over the Penguins and ended Pittsburgh's nine-game winning streak over the Sabres. Nilsson earned the No. 1 star with some solid play between the pipes. 

William Carrier scored his first career goal to open the scoring and Buffalo managed to win its first shootout of the year thanks to O'Reilly. 

Video: CARRIER: Postgame

Video: Cal O'Reilly on the postgame show


Tonight's matchup

The Flames kicked off a six-game road trip last night with a 3-2 win in Detroit. Mikael Backlund scored the winner while Chad Johnson made 20 saves. Dougie Hamilton racked up three assists.

Calgary has won three of their past four games and two of three without Johnny Gaudreau, who is sidelined with a broken finger. 

When it comes to playing the Flames and Western Conference opponents at home, Buffalo has had a lot of success. 

From the Game Notes, put together by our intrepid PR staff.

  • The Sabres are 6-1-3 in their last 10 home games against Western Conference teams. It's Buffalo's best such 10-game stretch since the team went 7-1-2 at home against the West from Nov. 19, 2010 to Nov. 4, 2011.
  • The home team has won 17 of the last 19 games between these teams, dating back to the 1999-00 season. The Flames' last win in Buffalo was on Dec. 14, 2013.
  • With points in their last 12 home games against Calgary (10-0-2), the Sabres have matched their series-record for most consecutive home games against the Flames with a point, originally set from March 11, 1979 to Nov. 10, 1985 (11-0-1).
  • The Sabres are 16-3-2 in their last 21 home games against the Flames, with the last regulation home loss coming on March 15, 1996.
  • With a win of overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in three consecutive games against the Flames for the first time since the team won four in a row from March 18, 2000 to Nov. 23, 2001.

Buffalo has already played Calgary this season. The Flames won that one 4-3 in overtime back on Oct. 18. Sean Monahan, as you may recall, had the winner. 


On tap today

We'll have your Morning Skate Report up after Buffalo takes the ice today. We'll check on the injury updates and see who is starting in goal. Jourdon has your written coverage while Dan Dunleavy will provide the video preview.

Kris Baker will also have your weekly Sabres Prospects Report today too to help you keep tabs on the players in college, in junior and overseas.

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