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Sharpen Up: October 2, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Game week…

The season starts on Thursday when the Montreal Canadiens come to town. 

Here's what you need to know.

Roster taking shape

The Sabres made four more cuts to their training camp roster over the weekend. Justin Bailey, Nicolas Desluariers and Taylor Fedun were assigned to Rochester, and Cody Goloubef was released from his tryout. 

One of the players set to make the opening night roster may come as a surprise. Seth Griffith has had an impressive camp and figures to factor into Thursday's lineup. At practice yesterday, we skated on a line with Evander Kane and Jack Eichel. 

He signed as a free agent on July 1 after a good season with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. There, he averaged over a point per game, racking up 44 points (10+34) in 38 contests. 

"It was kind of a fresh start for everybody here," he said on Sunday. "The whole organization has been great to me and helped me along throughout this camp. To be surrounded by good people, it's obviously a great atmosphere."

Video: Phil Housley After Practice (10/1/17)

"I think his attitude is infectious, and he's got to play like he has the last two games," coach Phil Housley said. "He's got to be up in the forecheck. Everybody can compete in their own way. I know he's a smaller guy but he gets on pucks and finds a way to win puck battles."

Here's how the Sabres practiced on Sunday

Video: Sabres Now (10/1/17)

67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 25 Seth Griffith
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart - 29 Jason Pominville
26 Matt Moulson - 22 Johan Larsson/10 Jacob Josefson - 17 Jordan Nolan

82 Nathan Beaulieu - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Marco Scandella/4 Josh Gorges - 5 Matt Tennyson
93 Victor Antipin - 41 Justin Falk

40 Robin Lehner
31 Chad Johnson

While the forward lines are building chemistry with a healthy group, the defensemen are working their way back to full strength. 

Zach Bogosian missed practice with a lower-body injury after leaving Friday's preseason finale early and is listed as day-to-day. He joins Jake McCabe, who is out week-to-week with an upper-body ailment, on the injury list. Marco Scandella has also been recovering from off-season hip surgery and while he's been practicing, he did not appear in a preseason game. 

Party in the Plaza

A Party in the Plaza presented by KeyBank will place prior to the home opener on Thursday. The event will be held in Alumni Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Party will be highlighted by a special live performance throughout the event by Rochester natives Joywave, whose single, "It's A Trip!," is currently No. 25 on the Billboard US Alternative Radio chart. The Party will also feature the KeyBank "puck shoot" and NHL Network inflatable games and giveaways for fans, as well as a fan photo area. Productive Edge will also be onsite to provide fans with an immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience that will put their hockey skills to the test. 

Sabres alumni and Sabretooth will be on hand to sign autographs and hand out giveaways during the event, which is free to the public. Food samplings will be provided by Tim Hortons, Yancey's Fancy and Wegmans Sushi. Additionally, food and beverages will be available for purchase during the Party. All outdoor events are weather permitting.

Following the Party, all fans who attend the home opener will receive a Sabres T-shirt courtesy of KeyBank.

Tickets for the game are on sale now. 


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Tweet from @DallasStars: Dave Strader will be known as one of the greats. "The Voice" was a true professional and a friend to many. We raise our sticks to you, Dave.

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