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Sharpen Up: October 21, 2016

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres ran into a hot goaltender last night as the Western Canadian road trip came to an end with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Nicholas Baptiste scored his first NHL goal and Buffalo will take the ice again on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Here's what you need to know.

Video: Condensed Game: BUF 1 - VAN 2

Baptiste scored one of the most unusual first goals you'll see. He took the shot from the right wing, it deflected up, and over and… well, just watch it for yourself. 

Video: BUF@VAN: Nick Baptiste's 1st NHL goal

As you can see, at first it looked like it may have been Nicolas Deslauriers' first goal of the year, but after the double review, the players even grabbed the puck because they had a feeling it would go to Baptiste. Sure enough, after the game, the scoring change was made official. 

Video: BAPTISTE: Postgame Interview

Look how happy these two are:

"We've been emphasizing getting pucks to the net and hadn't shot enough in the last couple games," Baptiste said. "I just tried to get it to the net and obviously it was a fortunate bounce to kind of pinball in there."

Through two games, Baptiste, a third-round pick in 2013, has a goal, but, amazingly, has yet to register a shot.  

 Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: 1st of many.

Unable to break through

As Jourdon LaBarber mentioned in the game recap, Buffalo peppered Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom with 26 shots - including 14 in the second period - and had a great deal of quality scoring chances, but Markstrom help strong to give the Canucks a 4-0-0 record. 

The Sabres allowed their first power-play goal of the season on what ended up being the game winner, Daniel Sedin's tally 9:10 into the third period. 

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview

For Buffalo, Robin Lehner made 18 saves on 20 shots, including a few doozies like this one:

Video: BUF@VAN: Lehner robs Sutter with strong save

We caught up with him after the game:

Video: LEHNER: Postgame Interview


Heading home...then back on the road

The Sabres finished the road trip 1-1-1 after a win in Edmonton on Sunday and an overtime loss on Tuesday in Calgary. 

Here's how Marcus Foligno summarized the last two games:

"I thought we deserved better. Against Calgary, I feel like we handed them that extra point. It wasn't our best game, but tonight, [we] just [weren't] burying chances. 

"That's what it came down to. It wasn't like we got blown out of this rink. It was a hard fought game. It's tough to let points slip away early, we want to be a team that jumps out to a good start."

 Video: FOLIGNO: Postgame Interview


On tap this weekend

We'll have practice coverage when the team reconvenes on the ice Sunday morning. Buffalo next plays on Tuesday against the Flyers in Philadelphia before a national audience on NBCSN. 

Sharpen Up will return on Monday, where we'll start to set up you for Tuesday's game.

And don't forget about Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Thursday. We have a special tickets and T-shirt offer for you. It's a game you're not going to want to miss. 

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