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Sharpen Up: October 14, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Tonight, the Sabres will once again try to pick up their first win of the season. They're in Los Angeles for a game against the Kings at Staples Center. Faceoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. but check in early with Duffer and Marty for the GMC Game Night pregame show at 10 on MSG. RJ and Rayzor have the call once the puck drops.

We'll have pregame coverage for you today with Jourdon's Morning Skate Report and Dan's Game Preview video to fill you in on any lineup changes.

Here's what you need to know.


The home team has had the advantage

With the exception of the 2011 NHL Premiere meeting between these teams (which was a 4-2 win for the Sabres as the road team in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 8, 2011), the home team has won the last 14 games between the Sabres and the Kings.

The last time one of these teams won in the other team's arena was a 5-1 Sabres victory on Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in road games against the Kings that dated back to March 13, 1996 (6-2 Sabres win).

Buffalo enters tonight's game 0-5-1 in the team's last six games in Los Angeles. 

The Sabres are seeking their first road win against the Kings since their 4-2 victory on Oct. 8, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. All four of the team's trips to Los Angeles since that win have been 2-0 Kings wins.

(Thanks, @SabresPR!)

Buffalo's last goal in Los Angles was courtesy of Craig Rivet (from Jason Pominville and Tim Connolly) in a 4-3 loss on Jan. 21, 2010. The Sabres are 1-8-1 (with no ties) all-time at Staples Center.

The Kings are  2-0-1 on the year and are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Flames on Wednesday. Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar lead the team with five points each.


More from the Game Notes

The Sabres have had a multi-goal scorer in each of their first four games of the season (Pominville, Evander Kane, Kane, Pominville). It marks the first time the team has had a player score at least two goals in four straight games since March 12 to 19, 2013 (Foligno, Stafford, Hodgson, Ott).

With a multi-goal game tonight, the team would have a multi-goal scorer in five straight games for the first time since Jan.20 to Feb.1, 2007 (Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Jochen Hecht, Briere, Drury).

Tonight's game opens up Buffalo's first of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Anaheim. The Sabres were 8-8-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-12-1 in the second game last season. Buffalo's point breakdown in previous back-to-back last season was: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (5).

Friday's practice

Video: Sabres Now (10/13/17)

Buffalo took the ice at the Kings' practice facility yesterday. Here's how the line combinations and defensive pairings looked:

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

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
82 Nathan Beaulieu - 5 Matt Tennyson / 93 Victor Antipin
4 Josh Gorges - 19 Jake McCabe

40 Robin Lehner 
31 Chad Johnson

Kyle Okposo did not skate on Friday. He woke up feeling under the weather and thus missed the team's morning skate in San Jose on Thursday, but still managed to play against the Sharks that night. 

"We just needed to give him the day off," coach Phil Housley said. "I thought he had a good game and grinded it out, the way he felt, so just trying to get him rested and get his energy back."

Video: After Practice: HOUSLEY

The focus of the practice? Establishing a better net-front presence. Jourdon has more on that in the Ice Level practice report.


Bobblehead voting is underway

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Voting is underway.Let us know which Sabres alumnus you want to see on a bobblehead ��

Using your suggestions, here are the eight candidates for the Fans' Choice alumni bobblehead giveaway presented by KeyBank. You can help us pick the Final 4 with your vote. Voting is open until Oct. 20.

The bobblehead will be given away at our last regular-season home game on April 4. 

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