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Sabres focused on finding consistency in preparation

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

When it comes to looking back at the Buffalo Sabres' loss in Vegas on Tuesday, Phil Housley said there's a difference between dwelling on the past and learning from it. Thus practice on Thursday ended on a lighthearted note, with fill-in goaltender Ryan Vinz called upon to break the huddle at center ice (more on him later). 

At the same time, Housley maintained that the Sabres need to be aware of what hampered them in their game against the Golden Knights, one that saw them struggle through two periods before finally erasing a three-goal deficit in an eventual overtime loss. 

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Sabres continue to stress need for net-front presence

Okposo rests; Girgensons has chemistry with Eichel

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

LOS ANGELES - Upon further review of the Buffalo Sabres' 3-2 loss in San Jose on Thursday night, Phil Housley got the sense his team had taken a step toward becoming the team they want to be. The next step lies in the details. 

"We're close, but we're so far away because of our attention to detail," Housley said. "It has to get better. It has to be a 60-minute effort, maybe it's 65 minutes. We're putting something together, but we've still got to build our game."

The Sabres continued to work on some of those details during a practice at the Los Angeles Kings' facility in El Segundo, California on Friday afternoon. One particular area of focus remained at the net-front, an area the Sabres have struggled with so far in the young season.

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Housley shuffles lineup as Sabres prepare for western road trip

Reinhart practices at wing; Kane swaps lines

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Change is inevitable when a team is winless through three games, and there was plenty to be found when the Buffalo Sabres returned to practice at HarborCenter on Wednesday morning. From the lines and defensive pairs to personnel on the power play, the team had a whole new look. 

Here's what the new lineup looked like: 

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Sabres' leaders hope better practices can lead to better execution

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

During a stoppage of a drill early on in practice at KeyBank Center on Sunday, Buffalo Sabres associate coach Davis Payne hollered some choice words - including some expletives - at the players to hammer home a simple message. 

It's about execution. 

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Scandella, Tennyson quick to develop chemistry

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Marco Scandella and Matt Tennyson came to Buffalo under vastly different circumstances. Scandella was acquired via trade with the expectation that he'd log top minutes on defense; Tennyson was an under-the-radar signing on July 1 who played his way onto the roster in training camp. 

In their first game as a defensive pair on Thursday, however, both looked very much at home in Phil Housley's system.

"I thought they played extremely well," Housley said. "Marco missing all of camp, not playing a preseason game, and stepping right into the action did a tremendous job. He's calming influence back there for sure. 

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News and notes from Wednesday's practice

Eichel leads stretch; Sabres acquire Redmond

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

As practiced opened and players began their stretch at HarborCenter on Wednesday morning, Jason Pominville took it upon himself to nudge Jack Eichel toward the center of the circle. 

It was the team's first practice since Eichel signed an 8-year, $80 million extension on Tuesday night, and Pominville thought it was only right. 

"He should be in there," Pominville said. "I think I everyone was kind of telling him to go in there and giving him a push to go in there. I think it's important. He was probably a little embarrassed and shy, he didn't want to go in there, but I think it was the right thing to do. He did it and he did a good job."

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Following return to practice, McCabe optimistic for Thursday

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

While the Buffalo Sabres continue to nurse their defensive corps in advance of Thursday's season opener, a promising addition joined the team on the ice for practice on Tuesday. 

Jake McCabe, out since Sept. 23 with an upper-body injury, was a full participant at practice. He said afterward that he felt 100 percent, and Sabres coach Phil Housley was optimistic when asked about McCabe's status for Thursday.

"Today's practice was a good measure," Housley said. "There was a lot of battling and he looked great out there."

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Under Housley, Sabres are looking to practice like they play

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

If there's one thing we've already learned about Phil Housley as coach of the Buffalo Sabres, it's that he expects his players to practice like they play. Practice sessions have generally been limited to around an hour, sacrificing length for pace and competition. 

Having pushed his players hard in practice on Sunday and with three days still remaining in advance of their home opener against Montreal, Housley opted to keep the Sabres off the ice on Monday.

"It's a long week," Housley said. "I thought it was a good time to push the pace yesterday, a little bit more compete in our practice which I like to implement more when it allows it because I think it's good to be competitive when there's points on the line.

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Griffith earned roster spot with strong showing against New York

Bogosian day-to-day; Housley compliments Bailey's camp

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Prior to the preseason finale for the Buffalo Sabres against the New York Islanders on Friday night, Seth Griffith had said he wanted to save his best for last. Griffith had played well enough through three exhibition games to stick around late in camp; a fourth strong performance, ke knew, could seal his place on the Sabres' roster.

Mission accomplished. Housley said Griffith was one of the team's best forwards against the Islanders, and after Justin Bailey was among four cuts from the training camp roster on Saturday, it appears he's earned his place in the opening night lineup. 

"It's an exciting time," Griffith said after practice on Sunday. 

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Nolan believes he has more to give with Sabres

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Jordan Nolan still has faint memories of his childhood in Buffalo. He was only 6 years old when his father, Ted, became coach of the Sabres prior to the 1995-96 season, but can recall putting on his Sabres jersey and coming to games at The Aud. 

Nolan put the jersey on once again on Thursday, only this time under different circumstances. He was acquired by the Sabres on waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday afternoon, leaving behind the organization that drafted him in 2009. 

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