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Sharpen Up: September 28, 2019

All the Sabres news you need to know before today's final preseason game

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The preseason ends today. Buffalo will fly out to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at 4 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena. Catch the game on MSG (the AT&T Sports feed will be carried). 

If you truly feel the urge to listen to Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray today, they'll have what's sure to be an entertaining call on WGR 550. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

Today's matchup

The Sabres will travel 12 forwards and seven defensemen for the game, with an emphasis on continuing the internal competition that Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has stressed throughout training camp.

"We will be moving with more of a view to look at our depth on Saturday than with a lineup that will start against Pittsburgh," Krueger said Wednesday. "I think it's important to see who we want to look at, what we need to look at, and keep that competition alive until after the game on Saturday."

Here's Buffalo's roster.

The Penguins have yet to announce theirs. 

We'll have full coverage of today's game for you here on Sabres.com and our social platforms. 


Friday's practice

Here's more on that internal competition. From the Ice Level Practice Report…

Ralph Krueger has made it clear that there will be no ends following the Sabres' preseason finale in Pittsburgh on Saturday. 

The Sabres practiced with 28 players on Friday. That number needs to come down to 23 before next Thursday's regular-season opener. But whether they are with Buffalo on opening night or not, the competition for all 28 of those players continues beyond this weekend.

To that end, the young players who take the ice Saturday can simply view the exhibition as another chance to make an impression.

Video: TRAINING CAMP: Krueger

"I'm still here," forward Rasmus Asplund said. "It's [18] forwards left, and I really think that I have a chance to be here next week. If I'm not, I still feel that I'm going to push myself to make the team."

The Sabres will utilize their final preseason contest both as a last chance to evaluate the players who might claim the final spots available in the NHL lineup and as an opportunity to reinforce the concepts that will be stressed at all levels of the organization.

"Tomorrow's definitely going to be a game where, first of all, there's going to be some internal competition, head-to-heads just to see what players [perform] in difficult circumstances … how they can produce within that framework that we're trying to work at here," Krueger said.

"What we want to see tomorrow is a continued growth in our game. Consistency. I thought we've been a little in consistent. We haven't pulled it through 60 minutes really as of late. We'd like to see a solid 60-minute defensive performance and, again, continue to work hard the way they have been, and we'll automatically grow."

 

Amerks preseason rolls on

Watch: Youtube Video

The Rochester Americans won their preseason game at LECOM Harborcenter last night as they defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-2.

From the Amerks' game recap…

The Rochester Americans took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission, along with a 27-5 shot advantage over the Toronto Marlies, and closed out the contest with a 3-2 victory in the first of back-to-back meetings against their North Division rival Friday night at LECOM Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo.

Amerks forwards C.J. Smith, Jarrett Burton and Pascal Aquin all found the back of the net for Rochester while defenseman Tobie Bisson added a game-high two assists in the victory. 

Goaltender Jonas Johansson, who made 16 saves last night in the preseason opener, stopped 12 of 14 shots he faced tonight to earn the win.

They'll play Toronto again tomorrow at the Ray Twinney Complex in Newmarket, Ontario at 4 p.m. 

Rochester's regular season begins on Friday when they host the Syracuse Crunch at Blue Cross Arena. 


It's still Grillin' season

The latest episode of Grillin' 'Em is online now. Sam Reinhart hung out with Andrew Peters in the back parking lot of KeyBank Center to flip some burgers:

Video: Grillin' 'Em: Sam Reinhart

 

Sharpen Up will return on Monday as we get set for the first game of the season on Thursday.


 

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