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Sabres fall short against Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

COLUMBUS - Being a goalie himself, Anders Nilsson has no problem identifying a good night in net. All he could do on Tuesday was tip his hat to Sergei Bobrovsky. 

Bobrovsky, coming off of a shutout against Philadelphia in his last game, made 41 saves in an effort that proved to be the difference in a 3-1 victory for the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Buffalo Sabres at Nationwide Arena. 

"Honestly, I think we were the better team today," Nilsson said. "We deserved to win but Bobrovsky played great for them."

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Okposo unlikely to play against Blue Jackets

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

COLUMBUS - Kyle Okposo will likely be absent from the lineup when the Buffalo Sabres meet the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena. Okposo is feeling under the weather and is expected to miss the game, according to Sabres coach Dan Bylsma. 

If Okposo doesn't play, it will mean a return to the lineup for Nicolas Deslauriers, who's sat out the last five games as a healthy scratch. It's an appropriate time for Deslauriers to get back onto the ice, considering it him who jolted a comeback for the Sabres the last time these teams met.

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Sabres announce Fan Appreciation events

by Sabres PR @SabresPR / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced plans for the team's annual Fan Appreciation celebration, which will take place during several games in April to close out the 2016-17 regular season.

New to the celebration this year will be added perks and benefits available for fans who register in the My One Buffalo mobile app. Additionally, the Sabres Store will be giving all fans 40 percent off their entire purchase during each of the team's home games in April.

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Grant scores 6 goals as Amerks sweep weekend games

by Rochester Americans @AmerksHockey / Amerks.com

The Rochester Americans swept the weekend with three wins in three games, including a pair on home ice at The BlueCross Arena. The Amerks improved their record to 27-37-0-2 and currently sit in sixth place in the North Division with 56 points.

 

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Sharpen Up: March 28, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Brian Gionta certainly made his 1,000th game a memorable one. He scored on the power-play 1:25 into the second period and that stood to be the game winner in a 4-2 victory over Florida last night.

He became the third Sabre to score in his 1,000th game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Gilbert Perreault (on Jan. 29, 1984 against Pittsburgh) and Phil Russell (March 12, 1986 at Chicago) are the others. 

The Sabres have now won four of their past five games and are in Columbus tonight to close out their 17th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games (yes, with only six games remaining on the regular-season schedule there are still two more sets of back-to-backs left).

The Tops Game Night show begins at 6:30 p.m. with puck drop scheduled for just after 7. Dan and Rayzor have the call.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Gionta scores winner for Sabres in 1000th NHL game

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Time seemed to drag on as Brian Gionta dragged across the net in the second period of the Buffalo Sabres' game against the Florida Panthers on Monday night. It was clear that Gionta, in alone, had a chance to score, but the window had begun to close as he drifted through the crease and away from the Florida goal.

We've seen Gionta score in that situation before, and this time he was able to bank the puck into the net off of Florida's Jason Demers. It was the perfect moment to highlight a memorable night for the Sabres captain, one that began with him being honored for his 1,000th NHL game with his family on the ice and ended with the Sabres celebrating a 4-2 victory.

Gionta became the third Sabre to score a goal in his 1,000th NHL game, following in the footsteps of Gilbert Perreault and Phil Russell.

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Gionta to play 1,000th game as Sabres host Panthers

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

If you're coming to the game tonight, make sure to be in your seats early. It will be the 1,000th NHL game for Brian Gionta as the Sabres host the Florida Panthers, an achievement that only nine other players have accomplished in a Sabres uniform.

A pregame ceremony will be held to honor the milestone for the captain of the Sabres.

"I've been fortunate to have been healthy and have a long career," Gionta said. "I think when I get out there it will be a little different but right now, it hasn't really sunk in."

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Petersen, Malone advance to Frozen Four

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

Two Sabres prospects will get the chance to play for a national title as their teams advanced to the 2017 NCAA Men's Division-I Hockey Frozen Four Championship over the weekend.

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Professionalism paved the road to 1,000 for Gionta

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

It's never easy to get Brian Gionta to talk about Brian Gionta, and it's rare that he even gets the opportunity. It's an aspect of speaking with the media that comes with being the captain - Gionta often has to answer for the play of the team rather than his individual performance, especially in trying times. 

It also stems from Gionta's tendency to define his personal success not by numbers - although, statistically, he's having what might be his best season as a Sabre at age 38 - but by team success. His role over a 15-year career has changed with what's been asked of him. 

But on Monday, if only for one night, the subject of Gionta's personal accomplishments will be unavoidable. The captain of the Buffalo Sabres will play his 1,000th NHL game, the culmination of a journey that began 76 miles east of Buffalo in a suburb of Rochester.

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Sharpen Up: March 27, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres will take on the Florida Panthers tonight as captain Brian Gionta is set to become the 312th player in NHL history to skate in his 1,000th NHL game.


If you're coming to the game, make sure you're in your seats early for a special pregame ceremony. Faceoff is slated for just after 7 p.m. and we'll also be on the air starting at 6:30 on MSG with the Tops Game Night pregame show. 

Here's what you need to know.

 

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