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Sharpen Up: November 22, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Buffalo hosts Minnesota tonight as they look to get back on the winning side of things. The Sabres are in the midst of a four-game homestand and will try to turn things around once the puck drops at 7 p.m

Family Packs are also available for the game if you have friends and family in town for the long weekend. 

Here's what you need to know.


Yesterday's practice

Duffer talked to Kyle Okposo about his and the team's recent struggles, and got a look at Jack Eichel putting in extra work after practice. More on that in Sabres Now:

Video: Sabres Now (11/21/17)

Meanwhile, Jacob Josefson returned to practice and it's possible he could suit up tonight after a 15-game absence due to a lower-body injury. 

As the Sabres look to end their six-game winless streak, two former Wild players - Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella - can draw on their experience during the 2014-15 season when the Wild won 12 of 14 games.

From the Ice Level Practice Report

"Anything's possible when you believe, when you get back to that swagger, that confidence as a team," he said. "You feel like anything you do, you can't be denied. Right now, it's almost the other way where we're giving up a bounce and we're getting scored on or we're not getting the bounce offensively.

" … We're not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. We are where we are. We've got to dig deep and keep working and keep pushing to be better."

Following a loss to Columbus on Monday, the Sabres are 0-4-2 in their last six games and 5-12-4 this season. They nearly came back against the Blue Jackets, cutting a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 in the latter half of the third period, but ultimately fell short of tying the game.

Sam Reinhart scored to put the Sabres on the board in thate game, which served to sprak the team for the remainder of the night. Likewise, Pominville and fellow former Wild player Marco Scandella said the Sabres need a spark to their season, similar to what Dubnyk was for them in 2015.

"There's a lot of things that can change it," Scandella said. "It can be that. It can be just a big come-from-behind win, a big win on the road, or just stringing a couple together. That's what we need to do. We need to find a way to win a game and it's just going to open everything up."

Yesterday's line combinations and defensive pairings

Video: Phil Housley After Practice

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 23 Sam Reinhart
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 22 Johan Larsson - 51 Kyle Criscuolo
17 Jordan Nolan - 10 Jacob Josefson - 21 Kyle Okposo
26 Matt Moulson - 25 Seth Griffith

6 Marco Scandella - 41 Justin Falk
19 Jake McCabe - 93 Victor Antipin
4 Josh Gorges - 82 Nathan Beaulieu
8 Casey Nelson 

40 Robin Lehner
31 Chad Johnson

We'll have full morning skate coverage for you later today and give you an indication as to tonight's lineup. 


From @SabresPR's Game Notes

  • Robin Lehner is 2-0-1 against the Wild in his career with a .965 save percentage and a 0.97 goals-against average.
  • Evander Kane has four points (1+3) in four games against Minnesota since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
  • Seth Griffith set career highs with two goals and three points against the Wild on Oct. 28, 2014.
  • If he dresses, tonight will be Johan Larsson's 200th career NHL game.
  • Victor Antipin has three assists in his last four games.
  • Ryan O'Reilly is on a three-game point streak and has eight points in nine games so far in November. With a multi-point game tonight, he would be on track for his first point-per-game month since April 2016.
  • Robin Lehner is 2-3-1 in seven appearances at home this season with a .944 save percentage and a 1.74 goals-against average.
  • The road team has won 15 of the 20 games all-time between the Sabres and Wild, including each of the last five.


Winter Classic jersey revealed today

Yesterday, My One Buffalo members received an exclusive first look at the Sabres' Winter Classic jerseys. Today, be on the lookout for the full reveal here on and on all of our Sabres social media accounts.


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