Best wishes to RJ

Sam Reinhart possesses plenty of skill. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – A goal or even a little more assertiveness tonight would greatly boost top prospect Sam Reinhart’s chances of making the Sabres right out of junior hockey.

Time could be running out for the 18-year-old, the No. 2 pick in June. Only two exhibition games are left.

Through three appearances, Reinhart has zero points, just two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating while averaging 16 minutes, 16 seconds of ice time. Incredibly, he’s only attempted three shots.

“Obviously, it’s getting a …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Matt Ellis captained Rochester last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Veteran forward Matt Ellis was among seven players the Sabres sent to Rochester this afternoon.

The Sabres also assigned: forwards Joel Armia and Tim Schaller; defensemen Drew Bagnall and Nick Petricki; goalies Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov.

Ellis and Bagnall must clear waivers to reach the AHL Americans. Ellis captained Rochester in 2012-13 and last season before earning a 50-game recall.

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Sam Reinhart skates today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Time is running out for top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart to make a notable impression this preseason.

The No. 2 pick in June has zero points and just two shots on goal through three preseason appearances. Still, Sabres coach Ted Nolan has said he’s seen improvements in the slick center’s game, especially late in contests.

Nolan will play Reinhart the final two exhibition games. The Sabres host Washington on Wednesday and play in Carolina on Friday.

The 18-year-old probably needs to …

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Patrick Kaleta has battled injuries througout his career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about …

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Marcus Foligno battles Toronto's Dion Phaneuf on Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – There have been some glimpses of future stardom during Marcus Foligno’s short career. For brief stretches, the Sabres winger will showcase the unique skills only a few elite power forwards possess, using his 6-foot-3, 223-pound frame to score goals and bang bodies.

But Foligno has mostly performed inconsistently, making fans wonder if the 23-year-old will ever develop into the star many envisioned he would become following his memorable debut in late 2011-12.

Foligno roared into the NHL three years ago, …

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Patrick Kaleta was injured Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ted Nolan had no updates on injured forwards Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson this afternoon. The players are still being evaluated.

“Nothing official yet,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll just wait until the official reports.”

The oft-injured Kaleta left Sunday’s 3-2 shootout preseason loss in Toronto just minutes in when Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit the winger in the cheekbone area. Kaleta immediately skated off the ice to the dressing room.

Later in the period, the …

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Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top defenseman.

Then injuries – back, shoulder, torn Achilles – …

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Patrick Kaleta tore his ACL last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan had no updates on Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson. The forwards left Sunday’s 3-2 preseason shootout loss to the Maple Leafs with apparent head injuries.

The players will be re-evaluated when the Sabres return to Buffalo, Nolan said.

The oft-injured Kaleta left the game just minutes in when Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit the winger in the cheekbone area. Kaleta immediately skated off the ice to the dressing room.

Later in the period, Petter Granberg elbowed …

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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