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Sharpen Up: March 30, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Rasmus Ristolainen is ready to return from his three-game suspension so the Sabres have made a roster move. Brady Austin is back with the Amerks as Buffalo gets set for their game Sunday afternoon against the Islanders.

Here's what you need to know.

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Sharpen Up: March 29, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 last night at Nationwide Arena. Evan Rodrigues continued his strong rookie campaign, scoring Buffalo's lone goal on the power play. 

With the man advantage, Buffalo is tops in the NHL at 25.3 percent (57 for 225). They're a full two-percentage points higher than Toronto, who is second. They've now scored five power-play goals over the past three games and are now 7-for-10 on the power play in their last five games.

However, with the loss, their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes have been dashed and they have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Here's what you need to know. 

 

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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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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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Sharpen Up: March 25, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Buffalo and Toronto are set to play for the fourth time this season with the fifth and final meeting coming up on April 3. The last time out, Buffalo defeated the Maple Leafs 3-1 in Toronto back on Feb. 11. Evander Kane scored twice that night and Robin Lehner made 43 saves. 

What's in store for tonight?

Here's what you need to know.

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Sharpen Up: March 24, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The NHL Department of Player Safety handed out a three-game suspension to Rasmus Ristolainen yesterday. Ristolainen was assessed a five-minute interference major and a game misconduct on Tuesday when he hit Penguins forward Jake Guentzel in the first period. 

With Ristolainen set to serve the suspension, it's a good thing the Sabres got some healthy bodies back at practice yesterday.

Here's what you need to know.

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Sharpen Up: March 23, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres hit the ice at HarborCenter today for practice and we'll have to see who will be joining them. 

Here's what you need to know.

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Sharpen Up: March 22, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres, already down four defensemen due to injury, lost their biggest minutes eater 8:46 into what turned into a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.

After laying a big hit on Jake Guentzel 8:46 into the first period, Rasmus Ristolainen was given a five-minute interference penalty and a game misconduct, ending his night early. 

Here's what you need to know.

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Sharpen Up: March 21, 2017

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

It had been a while since the Sabres last won consecutive games at Joe Louis Arena. In fact, they won the first five games they played there beginning when it opened midway through the 1979-80 season, and hadn't won't two in a row since. 

With The Joe closing its doors after this season, the Sabres had one last chance to end that drought when they paid their final visit to the historic arena in downtown Detroit last night. They got the job done with a 2-1 win over the Red Wings. 

The focus quickly shifts to tonight, when the Sabres will host Sidney Crosby and the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on MSG-B, with puck drop set for 7 p.m.

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Sharpen Up: March 20, 2017

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

It's a game night for the Buffalo Sabres in Detroit, and we'll have two new faces on the back end. 

With Taylor Fedun and Cody Franson both unable to play due to injuries - joining a list of injured defensemen that already included Dmitry Kulikov and Justin Falk - the team recalled Brady Austin and Casey Nelson to join the lineup against the Red Wings. 

It will be the final game for the Sabres at Joe Louis Arena, and will be nationally televised on NBCSN with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. You can hear Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray on the call on WGR 550. 

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