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Sharpen Up: October 17, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

For the first time ever, the Sabres will play a game in Las Vegas. The Sabres and Golden Knights will take the ice at 10 p.m. tonight at T-Mobile Arena. We'll have full pregame coverage for you here at with a written Morning Skate report from Jourdon and a Game Preview video from Dan

Then stick with us for the GMC Game Night pregame show with Duffer and Marty starting at 9:30 on MSG. RJ and Rayzor have the call of the game.

Here's what you need to know. 


How have the Sabres fared against expansion teams?

The Sabres are 14-2-1 all-time in the first game against teams that joined the league via expansion after 1970. The last such game was a 2-1 loss vs. Columbus on Jan. 23, 2001.

Buffalo is 10-3-4 all-time in the team's first road game against a new expansion team, including a 4-1-1 record in six the previous inaugural matchups that took place on the road.

More from the Game Notes

After Sunday night's 3-1 win at Anaheim, the Sabres are looking to win in consecutive visits to Pacific Division teams for the first time since the team won six straight from Jan. 6, 2011 to Nov. 5, 2013.

The last time the Sabres earned consecutive wins on a Pacific Division road trip was on Feb. 29 and March 1, 2012.

Captain's Class is in session

Yesterday, the Sabres announced the creation of the Captain's Class program, which will reward students and athletes who are making a positive difference in their school and community.

Buffalo's four alternate captains, Ryan O'Reilly, Zach Bogosian, Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo, will all participate in the initiative, which will begin on Oct. 20 when the Sabres host the Vancouver Canucks.

Students selected to join the Captain's Class will receive four tickets to a Sabres game and passes for the team's Gold Carpet Experience. In addition, each recipient will receive a Sabres puck autographed by one of the club's alternate captains.

"As a group, we felt it was important to recognize kids who were making a positive impact on our community," O'Reilly said. "We hope these children will feel a sense of pride in being recognized for the good work they are doing and continue to be an inspiration for their peers."

The Captain's Class will recognize children who exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: leadership, compassion, respect, volunteerism, character and selflessness. The program is open to children ages 8 to 18. 

For more information, or to nominate a child for the Captain's Class program, please click here. Nominations from family members will not be accepted.

Prospects Report! 

Boston College defenseman Casey Fitzgerald was named Hockey East's Defensive Player of the Week following his overtime winner last weekend. Fitzgerald, a third-round pick of the Sabres in 2016, has three points in six shots through three games this season. 

And this year's first-round pick, Casey Mittelstadt, now has two goals and three points through for games for Minnesota. 

For more on all of the players in the pipeline, check out Kris Baker's Sabres Prospects Report.

On this day in Sabres history

October 17, 1990: Gilbert Perreault's number 11 is raised to the rafters at Memorial Auditorium, making Perreault the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

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