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Sharpen Up: October 28, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

It's a true game day as Buffalo takes on San Jose this afternoon at KeyBank Center. We'll see you for the 1 p.m. faceoff on this special Kids Day Game.

But if you can't make it to the rink, check out the GMC Game Night pregame show with Duffer and Marty starting at 12:30 p.m. on MSG. RJ and Rayzor have the call, and Dan will be part of the festivities as well.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Friday's practice

As Duffer notes, the Sabres are looking for more offense from the blue liners, but they also know that cleaning up things in their own end is just as - if not more - important:

Video: Sabres Now (10/27/17)
And don't rule out Justin Falk for today's game. While he's missed all 11 games this season after sustaining an injury in the preseason, the defenseman returned to practice yesterday and it's possible that he could draw in today.

From Jourdon's Ice Level Practice Report:

"The timing wasn't great," Falk said. "But you show what you can in training camp and then now, more importantly you've got to make sure that you're back to the point that you can make a good impression again, whenever that time may be."

His return would bolster a defensive corps that's also missing Zach Bogosian, Nathan Beaulieu and Josh Gorges due to injuries. Taylor Fedun and Zach Redmond were recalled last week to help fill the void.

Video: After Practice: HOUSLEY

Housley said that Bogosian has been reevaluated and continues to make strides in his rehabilitation from a lower-body injury, but added that he remains week-to-week. Bogosian is still limited to off ice activity.

"He's making some good progress," Housley said. "I'd still say it's a week-to-week at this point, but he's still made strides forward, he continues to push himself and we're just going to have to focus on the day-to-day evaluation with him."

 

Here's how the Sabres skated yesterday:

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart - 95 Justin Bailey
17 Jordan Nolan - 22 Johan Larsson - 25 Seth Griffith / 26 Matt Moulson

6 Marc Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
19 Jake McCabe - 5 Matt Tennyson
93 Victor Antipin - 38 Zach Redmond
41 Justin Falk - 27 Taylor Fedun

40 Robin Lehner
31 Chad Johnson

 

From the Game Notes (Garcias, @SabresPR
 

  • After San Jose's 3-2 win when these teams met on Oct. 12, the Sabres are looking to avoid losing three straight games to the Sharks after having gone 10-0-1 in the previous 11 matchups between the teams.
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Sharks; 8-1-1 at home
  • This is the 39th game all-time between Buffalo and San Jose; Buffalo has a 24-8-6 series record.
  • The Sabres are 17-1-1 at home against the Sharks all-time.

 

  • With his shutout on Tuesday vs. Detroit, Robin Lehner enters tonight's game having played 91:35 without allowing a goal. If he plays 35:24 without allowing a goal tonight, he will match his career-best 126:59, set from March 30 to April 13, 2014.
  • Chad Johnson, meanwhile, is 3-1-1 against the Sharks in his career with a .925 save percentage and a 2.18 goals-against average.
  • With 11 points each, Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Jason Pominville all entered play Friday tied for 18th in the league in scoring.
  • Pominville was tied for third in the league with five multi-point games. Eichel (four, T-6th) and Kane (three, T-18th) also ranked in the top 20.

 

  • Kyle Okposo has 13 points (5+8) in 11 career games against San Jose.
  • Eichel has five points (1+4) in three games against the Sharks since the beginning of last season.
  • Pominville has four points (2+2) in his last three games against San Jose.


Bobblehead vote today

Fans attending today's game have a special opportunity to choose who will move on in the Fans' Choice bobblehead giveaway contest presented by KeyBank. The Final 4 are Dominik Hasek, Patrick Kaleta, Rob Ray and Gilbert Perreault. Fans today will eliminate one former Sabre from the competition. 

The winning alumnus will have his likeness transformed into a bobblehead that will be given away on Fan Appreciation Night on April 4. 

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