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Sabres have eyes on a title with real prize looming this week

The Sabres' prospects have one more game to focus on, and a victory will allow them to win their tournament.

Then the NHL hopefuls can set their sights on the real prize.

Buffalo will wrap up its Prospects Challenge at 7 p.m. Monday when it hosts Pittsburgh in HarborCenter. Both teams are 1-0-1, and the winner will finish with the best record in the four-team tournament.

The finale will allow the big club to inherit the ice.

The Sabres will report to training camp Thursday for physicals, testing and introductions. They'll start skating Friday with two sessions in HarborCenter. Buffalo will work out from 9:45-10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All training-camp workouts are open and free to the public.

The Sabres will conduct four on-ice gatherings Saturday and Sunday, using both rinks in their practice facility. Each weekend day will start with a group skating from 9:40-10:20 a.m. on the auxiliary rink before switching to the main rink from 10:25-11:15 a.m. The second group will skate on the auxiliary rink from 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and head to the main ice surface from 12:25-1:15 p.m.

As usual, training camp quickly progresses to exhibition games. The Sabres host the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. next Monday in KeyBank Center. Tickets range from $22 to $45 and are available at Sabres.com and the arena box office.

The full training camp schedule and roster have not yet been released.

There will be a number of players who appeared in the Prospects Challenge. They hope to arrive as winners.

Buffalo enters the finale fresh off Saturday's 7-4 victory over Boston. The team thoroughly enjoyed the win. So did the fans, who have packed the building.

They get one more chance. Boston and New Jersey play at noon Monday, and the Sabres and Penguins finish the challenge. Tickets for each game are $10.

"It was so exciting in this building," coach Chris Taylor said. "It almost seemed like a playoff game already, and that's what I want the guys to feel like every game. Make sure to make it feel like a playoff game. Make sure every shift and every game is important to our team."

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