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Sharpen Up: October 10, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Buffalo lost 6-2 yesterday to the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. Evander Kane scored twice, giving him back-to-back multi-goal games. 

Kane's play was one of the few bright spots in yesterday's match. He now has six points (4+2) in his first three games this season, including at least a point in all three games. He finished the game tied for second in the NHL in goals, tied for third in points (6) and leading the league in shots on goal (26).

Here's what you need to know.


Video: BUF Recap: Kane scores two goals in Sabres' 6-2 loss


From the game recap

Video: Phil Housley Postgame (10/9/17)

"I just think our effort was unacceptable," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "This game is a game of mistakes and it just seems like we're making key mistakes at times of the game that are ending up in our net. Even saying that, our resiliency has to be better. We're faced with adversity and we're not facing it the right way.

"It's funny because you can have a game plan, you can have strategy, but it starts with the work. It's so hard in this league to win. Every team is very good and everybody's fighting for something. We have to understand that, how hard it is to win."

Video: Evander Kane Postgame (10/9/17)

"If you look at the goals, they're all odd-man rushes," Kane said. "So either we're misreading plays or jumping at the wrong time or not being strong on the puck. We have to clean those obviously. Those are killers."

Video: Ryan O'Reilly Postgame (10/9/17)

Video: Nathan Beaulieu Postgame (10/9/17)

The week ahead

Buffalo will return to practice tomorrow after a scheduled off day today. Then they're goin' to California to start a four-game West Coast road trip. 

They'll be in San Jose on Thursday (10:30 p.m. faceoff), Los Angeles on Saturday (10:30 p.m. faceoff), in Anaheim on Sunday (9 p.m. faceoff) and in Las Vegas on Tuesday (10 p.m. faceoff). 

Full coverage, of course, will be here at And the GMC Game Night pregame show will be on MSG a half hour before each game.  

Gionta to practice with Amerks

Sabres assistant general manager and Rochester Americans GM Randy Sexton announced yesterday that Brian Gionta has been invited to practice with the Amerks for an extended period of time in preparation for international play. Gionta is scheduled to join the Amerks on the ice beginning Tuesday, Oct. 10 for the team's 10:30 a.m. practice at The Blue Cross Arena. 

"We were recently approached by Brian and his agent about him practicing regularly with Rochester as he prepares for international competition," said Sexton. "While Brian's role with the team will be limited to practicing only, we feel this can be a real win-win situation for both he and the Amerks organization."

The 38-year-old Rochester native has appeared in 1,006 National Hockey League games with the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils over a 16-year professional career in which he has recorded 588 points (289+299) and 375 penalty minutes. Gionta has also compiled 68 points (32+36) over 112 career playoff appearances and was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup-winning Devils.

Gionta has served as team captain in each of his last seven seasons, including the previous three in Buffalo. He totaled 103 points (40+63) in 230 career games with the Sabres from 2014-17, appearing in his 1,000th NHL game during the 2016-17 campaign.

Stay tuned later today for our first Amerks Update of the season (the team is 2-0 after their first weekend of play!).

R.I.P. Mike Boland

Mike Boland played 22 games for the Sabres during the 1978-79 season, logging three points and 29 penalty minutes. The defenseman also appeared in three playoff games for the Sabres that year, scoring a goal. He spent 80 games with the Amerks in 1979-80 and five games in Rochester during the 1980-81 campaign and retired with the Fort Wayne Comets after the 1983-84 season.  

He passed away Sunday morning at the age of 62. 

Tweet from @BWipp: I'm very sad to hear of the passing of @BuffaloSabres alumni Mike Boland. A genuinely nice man who always gave his time to others.

Tweet from @BesideCraig: I was sad to hear the news of Mike Boland's passing. Such a great man and treated everyone with respect. We will miss you BoBo.


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