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Sharpen Up: November 17, 2018

Here's what you need to know before tonight's game in Minnesota

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres beat Winnipeg 2-1 in a shootout last night thanks in large part to the play of goaltender Carter Hutton. They're in Minnesota tonight for a game against the Wild. Can they win their fifth game in a row? Let's find out.

The GMC Game Night pregame show on MSG starts at 5:30 p.m. Faceoff on MSG and WGR 550 is scheduled for just after 6.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Hutton comes up big again in shootout win over Jets

Goalie makes 25 saves as Sabres extend win streak to 4

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

WINNIPEG - It's become a winning recipe as of late for the Buffalo Sabres - stellar goaltending from Carter Hutton, a timely goal from Jeff Skinner and a belief that they're never really out of a game.

All those ingredients came together once again in a 2-1 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. Hutton kept them in it when the Jets made an early push, Skinner erased a one-goal deficit 53 seconds into the third period and Jack Eichel, Jason Pominville and Conor Sheary tallied goals in the seven-round shootout. 

The Sabres have won four games in a row for the first time since December 2014. They've done it against opponents with a combined record of 44-25-8. 

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Special teams will be at forefront of matchup with Jets

Berglund to return; Hutton gets nod in net

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

WINNIPEG - What happens when an immovable force meets an unstoppable object? Pay attention to the special teams battle between the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets on Friday, and you might find out. 

Winnipeg boasts the NHL's best power play at 34 percent, a mark that ticks up to 40 percent on home ice. Blake Wheeler leads the league with 13 power-play points, all assists, while Patrik Laine's seven goals with the extra man rank second. 

But the Buffalo penalty kill is no pushover, either. The Sabres are a perfect 12-for-12 in their last five games, which includes a couple of 5-on-3 kills, and 27-for-29 in 10 games dating back to Oct. 21. Their success rate of 93.1 percent in that span ranks second in the NHL. 

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Sharpen Up: November 16, 2018

Here's what you need to know before tonight's game in Winnipeg

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres are on the road for three games in four nights starting tonight in Winnipeg with an 8 p.m. ET faceoff against the Jets. 

We'll have coverage of the morning skate here on Sabres.com and that'll lead into the GMC Game Night pregame show at 7:30 on MSG and WGR 550. Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray will have the call on MSG and WGR 550.

Buffalo will then head to Minnesota for a game tomorrow night against the Wild. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

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Sheary talks first impressions of Buffalo ahead of return to Pittsburgh

Forward answers questions from Sabres.com ahead of 3-game road trip

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Conor Sheary was a key acquisition in the Buffalo Sabres' roster makeover this summer, both for his scoring ability and the impact he could have in the dressing room. 

The 26-year-old arrived in Buffalo with 48 goals and two Stanley Cups rings already under his belt in two and a half NHL seasons. He played in all but three of the Pittsburgh Penguins' playoff games in their back-to-back Cup runs in 2016 and 2017, often playing on Sidney Crosby's wing. 

So far, he's performed as advertised. Sheary's tallied 10 points (6+4) through his first 18 games as a Sabre, including five in his last five games (3+2). He spoke with Sabres.com on Thursday ahead of the team's three-game road trip, which will culminate in his return to Pittsburgh on Monday night. 

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Sharpen Up: November 15, 2018

Here's what you need to know to start your Thursday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres hit the road after practice today. They have a game in Winnipeg tomorrow night against the Jets, who are currently in third place in the Central Division with 23 points. 

But first, we'll have coverage of today's skate.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Murray headlines noteworthy performances by Sabres prospects

Catch up on how players in the system are performing

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Brett Murray showed off his scoring touch last week, posting three goals in a pair of games for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. Murray, a fourth-round pick of the Sabres in 2016, scored twice on five shots Saturday (including the game-winner) in Youngstown's 4-3 win over Muskegon. 

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Beaulieu developing chemistry alongside Dahlin

Defenseman has 3 points in last 2 games for Sabres

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Nathan Beaulieu drifted toward the slot and caught a pass from his defense partner, setting off the sequence of events that led to Jeff Skinner's first-period goal against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

It wasn't an ordinary D-to-D pass, but it's the type one needs to be ready for when playing alongside Rasmus Dahlin.

"I think me and him really think the game the same way," Beaulieu said following a team meeting at KeyBank Center on Tuesday. "On the first goal, you notice that. You don't really see plays happening like that too much, a D hitting another D in the slot.

"I just think that we think the game really well, the same way, so I think that makes things a lot easier to read in the offensive zone for both of us."

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Sharpen Up: November 14, 2018

Here's what you need to know to start your Wednesday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

After beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 last night, the Sabres sit three points behind the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division. 

Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo scored. Carter Hutton made 29 saves to earn first-star honors.

Here's what you need to know.

 

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Hutton shuts down Lightning as Sabres extend win streak to 3

Skinner, Okposo tally goals in 2-1 victory

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Carter Hutton had earned a favor from the goal post, even if he didn't necessarily need it. 

Hutton had already made 29 saves by the time Nikita Kucherov caught a pass from Steven Stamkos in the dying seconds of the Buffalo Sabres' game against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. Kucherov, as dangerous a goal scorer as any, ripped one last shot in desperation. 

The sound of the puck ringing the goal post was followed by the roar of the buzzer, putting the finishing touches on a 2-1 win for the Sabres, but Hutton felt he was in position to make the save regardless. 

"I think it hit the outside of the post anyways," the goaltender said afterward. 

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