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Sharpen Up: November 8, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

"It was just making the right decisions, keeping things simple, not taking things into our own hands and sticking to the game plan. You could see when they make the choices and those decisions, it just seems things work out in your favor."

That was the postagme takeaway from coach Phil Housley after Buffalo's 3-1 win over Washington last night on home ice. Evander Kane scored twice and Benoit Pouliot scored the game winner on an end-to-end beauty. 

Buffalo next plays Friday night at home against the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. It's our annual Military Appreciation Game at KeyBank Center, dedicated to honoring both current and former members of our nation's armed forces and will feature several tributes throughout the night.

Here's what you need to know.

 

About last night

Video: Kane, Lehner lead Sabres past Caps, 3-1

From Jourdon's Lexus Postgame Report

The Sabres got the start they wanted against a Capitals team playing their second game in as many nights, controlling the play for most of the first period and gaining a 15-4 advantage in the shot column in the process. 

But for of all their efforts in the period, the Sabres entered the first intermission in a scoreless tie. 

Video: HOUSLEY: Postgame

"I thought we came out with authority - and that's a really god hockey team - and we didn't get anything for it," Housley said. "Which was important to realize that you just stay the course … The guys stuck to it and they stayed the course and didn't crack."

Video: POULIOT: Postgame

"Tonight we're on the other side of it and it's nice to be there," Jack Eichel said. "We should learn from it. We stuck to our game plan for 60 minutes and didn't deviate from the plan."

Video: REINHART: Postgame

"They definitely came with some pushes in the second period there and in the third, but we stuck with it," Kane said. "We weathered the storm and we pushed back and we played solid defensively. We got some timely goals, especially Benny's there in the third.

"That's how you win."

Video: SCANDELLA: Postgame

Pouliot's goal marked his fifth of the season, all of which have been scored in his last seven games. Pouliot said he's often dealt with slow starts to seasons, but he's found chemistry on a line with Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo as of late.

"We got scored on a few times the last few games but we always come back with a goal or we always come back with a strong shift that's going to get us back in the game," he said. "Things have been working out. We're communicating, the chemistry's there, so it's positive."

Video: FALK: Postgame

 

From @SabresPR's notes (there are a lot of them!)

The Sabres held the Capitals to 25 total shots and four shots in the first period, marking the season low for total shots by an opponent and tying the previous single-period low (3x, last: 11/4 at Dallas).

With his goal, Benoit Pouliot now has five goals and six points in his last seven games.

Pouliot earned his third game-winning goal of the season, tying for fourth-most in the NHL.

The Sabres are now 4-0-0 when Pouliot scores and 5-0-0 when he records a point.

Pouliot also has totaled five points (4+1) in his last five games against the Capitals.

With two goals tonight, Evander Kane is tied for sixth in the NHL with nine goals.

Taylor Fedun skated a career-high 20:59 tonight, topping his previous high (18:48, 1/15/16 at Carolina) by more than two minutes.

With a 24-save performance tonight, Robin Lehner improved to 2-1-1 in five appearances at home this season with a .956 save percentage and a 1.37 goals-against average.


More Military Appreciation Game details

The first 15,000 fans in attendance Friday will receive a Sabres-themed military dog tag.

And as a salute to the military, Sabres players will wear special camouflage jerseys during warm-ups. The jerseys will be auctioned on Sabres.com/auctions from Wednesday, Nov. 8 starting at 5 p.m. to Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m., and proceeds will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, which consistently supports veterans programs.

Sabres alternate captains Ryan O'Reilly and Zach Bogosian will donate a suite to members of the Coast Guard for the game. Those Coast Guard members will be invited down for a meet-and-greet with the players following the game. The Sabres will also donate more than 200 tickets and an additional five suites to military organizations. Sabres players will also do a meet-and-greet with children of military families after their morning skate, families will also be invited to the game. 

The Sabres will offer all active, reserve, National Guard and retired military personnel the opportunity to purchase tickets in the Buffalo Creek 300 Level for $25.

These tickets can be ordered here at sabres.com/military.

Military members will also receive a 25 percent discount at the Sabres Store the day of the game.

Click here for even more details on what's in store that night.


Introducing Tablet Talk with Martin Biron

 Video: Tablet Talk: Kane's goal in Vegas
Marty sits down with Evander Kane to break down his game-tying goal in Vegas in the first episode of Tablet Talk presented by Supercuts. From his thought process on how to best bat the puck out of the air to the celebration, they talk about it all.


Bobblehead voting final is set

Last night, the crowd at KeyBank Center picked Gilbert Perreault to go up against Dominik Hasek in the final round of the Fans' Choice bobblehead contest presented by KeyBank.

Fans on Friday will vote to see whether #11 or #39 will be immortalized as a bobblehead that will be given away on Fan Appreciation Night on April 4. 


On tap today

The Sabres will be back at practice later this morning. Jourdon and Duffer will have full coverage for you. 

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