Cory Conacher played 19 games with the Sabres four years ago. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Cory Conacher thrilled to be back with Lightning

BUFFALO – Two and a half years ago, former Sabres center Cory Conacher wanted a fresh start. So just months removed from regular NHL duty, the Canisius College product bolted overseas to Switzerland.

“The reason I went over was just to find a second wind,” Conacher said Tuesday prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 loss to the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

Some risk, of course, accompanied leaving North America at 25 years old. Conacher, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has zero home wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Lightning

BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.

But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.

Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article

Scott Wilson occasionally gets promoted to a scoring line. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Scott Wilson moving around

BUFFALO – Early last season, Sabres winger Scott Wilson earned a coveted assignment beside Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.

But the gig didn’t last long for Wilson, a speedy bottom-six forward known more for his checking abilities.

“I played a little bit with Sid and I kind of changed the way I played,” Wilson said Sunday inside KeyBank Center. “That’s not what they were looking for.”

Later in the season, Wilson received another plum opportunity ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly stepped up in Jack Eichel's absence. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres struggle in first game without Jack Eichel, lose to Avalache

BUFFALO – The Sabres can soften Jack Eichel’s loss, of course, if some of their other top players – think Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen – step up and seize additional opportunities in his absence.

If they don’t, what could happen without Eichel, their most dynamic presence and leading scorer? They won only 16 of their first 55 games with Eichel, who’s sidelined indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain Saturday.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has been the Sabres' MVP this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel’s absence will hurt Sabres

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s high right ankle sprain, an injury that will sideline the Sabres center indefinitely, hit the young star in the midst of a career-best stretch.

Eichel went on a tear beginning Dec. 1, morphing into one of the NHL’s most lethal scoring threats. His 15 goals and 34 points in 30 games since then both rank ninth overall.

The Sabres stand 30th in a 31-team league and have scored the second-fewest goals. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has a team-high 53 points. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Injury hits Sabres’ Jack Eichel during career-best stretch

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s high right ankle sprain, an injury that will sideline the Sabres center indefinitely, hit the young star in the midst of a career-best stretch.

Since early December, Eichel had been on a tear, morphing into one of the NHL’s most lethal scoring threats.

The Sabres rank 30th in a 31-team league and have scored the second-fewest goals. They could ill afford to lose their only NHL All-Star.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel suffered a high left ankle sprain last season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel out indefinitely with high ankle sprain

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jack Eichel is out indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain early in Saturday’s 4-2 win in Boston, the team announced this afternoon.

Only eight weeks are left in another miserable Sabres campaign, so Eichel’s season could be over.

The injury, of course, is familiar to Eichel. When the Sabres’ only NHL All-Star suffered a high left ankle sprain on the eve of the 2016-17 season opener, he missed the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has played all 55 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel leaves game injured

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel left Saturday’s 4-2 win in Boston in the first period after his right leg bent awkwardly as he fell into the end boards.

Eichel, who got tangled with Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, then skated off on his own as he grimaced in pain.

Following the Sabres’ second straight victory, coach Phil Housley had no update on Eichel, the team’s only NHL All-Star.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Winnipeg's Tobias Enstrom on Jan. 9. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Winter Classic helped Sabres’ Sam Reinhart bust long slump

BUFFALO – In his short career, Sam Reinhart had never competed on a stage as grand as Citi Field in New York. Sure, the Sabres winger had played in more meaningful games than the Winter Classic.

But the NHL’s signature regular-season event, an outdoor game watched by millions across North America, is a big deal.

So when Reinhart scored for the first time in 17 games on New Year’s Day, a power-play goal he called ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored on the Sabres' first shot Thursday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow early lead, score late to down Islanders

BUFFALO – Even by Sabres standards, their start in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the New York Islanders was bad.

The Sabres have consistently stumbled, even occasionally imploded, early in games this lost season, falling behind and generating little offense.

Unlike other outings, however, the Sabres kept the puck out of their net early Thursday. Still, they chased the Islanders most of the first period, getting hemmed in their zone.... Read the full article