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Sharpen Up: October 16, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Surprise! It's a special Sunday edition of Sharpen Up. Buffalo plays at 7 p.m. tonight in Edmonton (that's a 5 p.m. faceoff if you're in the #YEG) so we figured we had to make sure you were thoroughly prepped for the game. 

That graphic has the basics so let's expand. Here's what you need to know while we tailgate.


The new guy

Tonight kicks off a three-game road trip in Western Canada. Buffalo takes on the Oilers tonight, the Flames on Tuesday and Vancouver on Thursday. With Evander Kane out with cracked ribs and Jack Eichel sidelined with a high-ankle sprain, Buffalo needed a forward to fill out the roster. 

They decided to call up Nicholas Baptiste, who had a pretty strong summer, a solid training camp, and a nice opening night for the Amerks on Friday with a goal and an assist.

Video: BAPTISTE: After Practice


Jourdon LaBarber is on the trip and has the report on what you might be able to expect from the rookie if he makes it into a game.

The simple summary: Expect speed. 

And they'll need that kind of pace throughout the lineup when going up against the likes of Connor McDavid (Have you heard of him?) and Johnny Gaudreau over the next few days.

Video: Sabres in :90 (10/15/16)


Line 'em up

With it being a 5 p.m. local faceoff from Rogers Place, the Sabres won't hold a morning skate. That means we won't have any lineup news until Dan Bylsma addresses the media later today. We'll know the lines and pairings for sure by the time the Tops Gamenight pregame show gets rolling on MSG at 6:30 p.m.

This is how Buffalo practiced yesterday:

23 Sam Reinhart - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
63 Tyler Ennis - 27 Derek Grant - 44 Nicolas Deslauriers
26 Matt Moulson - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 52 Hudson Fasching / 73 Nicholas Baptiste

Defensemen: 4 Josh Gorges, 6 Cody Franson, 29 Jake McCabe, 34 Casey Nelson, 47 Zach Bogosian, 55 Rasmus Ristolainen, 77 Dmitry Kulikov

40 Robin Lehner
31 Anders Nilsson   

Power Play
First Unit: O'Reilly - Moulson - Reinhart - Okposo - Ristolainen
Second Unit: Grant - Ennis (who is celebrating a homecoming. You may hear more about that in a few weeks) - Gionta - McCabe - Franson

Expect Okposo to be ready to return from a bruised knee and Baptiste to serve as the extra forward. Bylsma said after practice that it's possible Baptiste could make his NHL debut during the trip. He may just have to wait an extra day or two.

It looks like Kulikov could play his first game for the Sabres too. He missed the opener with a lower-body bruise sustained during a preseason game on Sept. 30, but Bylsma said his condition has "improved dramatically." If Kulikov can't go, Nelson's your man.

What else did Bylsma have to say? Just watch the tape.

Video: BYLSMA: After Practice


Weather report

Duffer called it "slightly snowy" in Edmonton yesterday (believe it). That might change soon. 

Tweet from @CBCEdmonton: After the storm comes the rain: Freezing rain warning issued for Edmonton and area #yeg

Yiiikes. Stay safe out there, boys.


On tap today

Well, the Bills play the Niners at 1, so that'll probably occupy our attention for most of the afternoon. 

But the night belongs to the Sabres. On, we'll have Bylsma's pregame comments, a postgame recap, highlights and locker room interviews. Everything you've come to expect.

Then we'll see you again on Monday, where all of our postgame coverage will be re-bundled in Sharpen Up. The team will practice in Calgary as they prep for Tuesday's game against the Flames. While you wait for news tomorrow, we'll have a Sabres Prospects Report coming your way from our friend Kris Baker

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