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Sharpen Up: October 20, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The road trip through Western Canada ends tonight as the Sabres are in Vancouver for a match against the Canucks at Rogers Place. It's a late face off - 10 p.m. ET - but we'll start you off with the TOPS Gamenight pregame show starting at 9:30. 

Here's what you need to know.


What's been going well?

Buffalo is 4-for-16 (25.0 percent) on the power play this season, tying for seventh in the league entering play Wednesday. The team's 18.9 percent mark last season ranked 12th in the league and was the Sabres' best power-play percentage in five seasons. Buffalo last finished a season above 20 percent on the power play in 2008-09 (20.7 percent).

They're also a perfect 9-for-9 on the penalty kill (one of three perfect teams remaining along with Florida and Minnesota).

Jourdon LaBarber broke down Buffalo's special teams' success in yesterday's Ice Level Practice Report and how important Ryan O'Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen have been so far.

Speaking of O'Reilly, he'll look to keep his streak of points on the road alive. He currently has points in eight-straight road games dating back to last season, totaling seven goals and six assists over that span. 

Brian Duff took a look what improvements the Sabres want to make in their game following the overtime loss to Calgary on Tuesday. 

Video: Sabres in :90 (10/19/16)

 

Buffalo practiced yesterday without Johan Larsson, but it was just a maintenance day for the centerman. 

Here's Dan Bylsma on where the team is at through three games:

 Video: BYLSMA: After Practice


Tonight's matchup

The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games against the Canucks; 1-8-1 on the road. The home team has won 11 of the last 13 games between these teams. The Sabres have lost their last three games in Vancouver, with the last win taking place on March 3, 2012.

No Ryan Miller for Vancouver as he recovers from an injury.

Bylsma said earlier in the week that Anders Nilsson will make his season debut in goal for Buffalo sometime soon, so we'll have to see if tonight is the night.


#Duffalo is back

Yesterday, Duffer filed his first blog of the season. Yes, it's #Duffalo and gives you some behind-the-scenes looks. He met up with a pair of Sabres fans who have now been to every NHL arena and also gave some thoughts on the team's maturity through the first week of the season.

Our Hockey Fights Cancer Night will take place next Thursday when we host Minnesota. Check out the In The Community section of #Duffalo for more on that and a few personal notes from Duffer. We have a special Ticket & T-shirt offer available at sabres.com/hockeyfightscancer.


On tap today

Pregame coverage from Jourdon and Duffer will start when the team takes the ice at 2:30 p.m. ET for the morning skate. Jourdon will have lineup notes and other storylines, and Duffer will provide the game preview on video. 

After the game, we'll have highlights, a game recap and locker room interviews up on Sabres.com. 

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