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Sharpen Up: September 23, 2019

All the Sabres news you need to know on Monday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Following back-to-back preseason games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and a day off, the Sabres will return to the ice for training camp today. 

They'll play again on Wednesday at KeyBank Center against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tickets are on sale.

The first game of the regular season is just a week-and-a-half away. Buffalo will open up the 2019-20 slate on Thursday, Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh.

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Getting closer to the final roster

The Sabres assigned 14 players to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League yesterday.

The team also assigned forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to Ilves (Liiga).

Here are the players heading to the Amerks:

Forwards
Eric Cornel
Sean Malone
Andrew Oglevie
Kyle Olson
Kevin Porter
C.J. Smith (pending waivers)

Defense
Jacob Bryson
Casey Fitzgerald
Brandon Hickey
Zach Redmond
Devante Stephens

Goaltenders
Andrew Hammond (pending waivers)
Michael Houser
Jonas Johansson

Rochester opens its training camp today. Amerks coach Chris Taylor will lead the first on-ice practice at 12:30 p.m. at Blue Cross Arena. All practice sessions are free and open to the public. 

Visit Amerks.com for more info on the team's training camp.


From the weekend

Coming off Friday's 3-0 preseason loss in Toronto, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger saw his team beat the Maple Leafs 5-3 at KeyBank Center on Friday. Powered by three points from Sam Reinhart and a pair of goals from Victor Olofsson, the Sabres outscored Toronto 3-1 in the third period. 

Check out our game recap…

Video: Olofsson's two goals lead Sabres past Leafs, 5-3

Should Victor Olofsson ever get his own action movie, we officially have a title. 

The moniker came courtesy of Sabres coach Ralph Krueger following a 5-3 preseason win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday in which Olofsson tallied two goals, including the winner with 2:36 remaining in regulation. 

"Victor is just permanently dangerous," Krueger said. "He's a shooter, which we saw twice today. In practice we've been watching it. We've seen it in the other games already. He's a threat all the time." 

A gut feeling prompted Krueger to put Olofsson on the ice alongside Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart with the game tied late in regulation. Eichel set the winning goal in motion as the first man in the forecheck, poking the puck free to Reinhart in the corner.

Reinhart, who already had a goal and an assist in the game, delivered an immediate pass to the front of the net. The puck glided past Mitch Marner directly onto the stick of Olofsson, who did the rest.

Video: TOR@BUF: Olofsson takes late lead with second goal

Video: Victor Olofsson Postgame (9/21/19)

Video: Ralph Krueger Postgame (9/21/19) 

Video: Jack Eichel Postgame (9/21/19)

It was a positive step overall for the 24-year-old winger, who's trying to make the opening-night roster following a promising six-game stint with the Sabres to end last season. He proved to be plenty dangerous in Rochester, leading the Amerks with 30 goals and 63 points while adjusting to the North American ice surface and developing his two-way game. 

Olofsson kicked off this season with a standout performance at the Prospects Challenge, where he was leaned on as a leader among the up-and-coming Sabres. He carried that strong early impression into main camp, where he's now appeared in two preseason games. 

"I felt a little bit better all over the ice today than last game versus Columbus," he said. "It was a step in the right way for me."

Read the full recap with comments on Rasmus Ristolainen's performance and the rivalry here.


 

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