Drew Stafford celebrates after netting his first goal of the season Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shake off poor second period, roar back and down Bruins with 3 late goals

BUFFALO – It could’ve been about 8-1 after 40 minutes against the Boston Bruins on Friday. Instead, goalie Ryan Miller held his teammates in the contest, stopping 16 of 17 shots as the Sabres kept imploding in their own zone during the second period.

Miller, who’s been hung out to dry all season, gave the reeling Sabres the extra life they sorely needed as the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans booed them off the ice.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville had a tendon sliced two seasons ago. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Pominville understands long recovery Karlsson faces

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jason Pominville has watched the scary video of Ottawa superstar Erik Karlsson getting his Achilles lacerated by Matt Cooke’s skate Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenseman, will miss the rest of the season. His rehab will be long and grueling.

Pominville knows well. On April 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, James van Riemsdyk’s skate completely sliced a tendon in the winger’s lower leg.

It’s ... Read the full article

Tyler Seguin was a regular healthy scratch two seasons ago. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Julien knows all about Sabres’ plan for Grigorenko

BUFFALO – The benefits of sitting an 18-year-old rookie are many, Claude Julien said this morning. The Boston Bruins coach sat slick winger Tyler Seguin, his teenage phenom, occasionally two years ago.

The Sabres plan to sit, Mikhail Grigorenko, their 18-year-old freshman, at times this season, a tactic coach Lindy Ruff believes will benefit his top prospect’s development. Ruff scratched the Russian on Sunday against Boston.

Seguin played 74 games in 2010-11 before watching ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Scott back in lineup against Bruins as Sulzer sits again

BUFFALO – The 15th-place Sabres will make one lineup change for tonight’s tilt against the Boston Bruins inside the First Niagara Center, inserting tough guy John Scott for Cody McCormick up front.

Scott sat Tuesday’s 2-0 loss in Ottawa, his first healthy scratch this season. The enforcer had a memorable knockout of the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, defensemen T.J. Brennan and Alexander Sulzer will sit again as healthy scratches.

Sulzer, ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff tried to accept responsibility Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruff ready to ‘clean up’ struggling Sabres: ‘It’s on me’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff’s mood belied his team’s plight. The Sabres coach was smiling and brimming with energy during a frank nine-minute chat with the media Thursday following a 70-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center.

“It is on me,” Ruff said about the challenge of fixing the Sabres’ poor 5-8-1 record, which has them mired in 15th place in the Eastern Conference. “I understand that. I understand this is on me to clean ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford hasn't scored yet this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff trying to keep struggling Stafford ‘in the right place’

BUFFALO – It was an epic miss magnified by his 14-game, season-long goal drought. On a three-on-two break during Tuesday’s 2-0 loss in Ottawa, struggling Sabres winger Drew Stafford misfired on a one-timer with a yawning net ahead, blowing a glorious chance to end his slump.

“I think everyone saw the highlight of him missing, just heeling what would’ve been a wide-open one-timer you’d almost think was right in the wheelhouse,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff was in a good mood this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruff on cleaning up Sabres’ poor start: ‘It’s on me’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff’s mood belied his team’s plight. The Sabres coach was smiling and brimming with energy during a frank nine-minute chat with the media this afternoon following a 70-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center.

No one would’ve known the Sabres are 5-8-1 and mired in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

“It is on me,” Ruff said about the challenge of cleaning up the Sabres’ poor start. “I understand that. I ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville suffered a slice tendon during the 2011 postseason. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Pominville narrowly escaped severe Achilles injury in 2011

The word out of Pittsburgh tonight is grim. Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner and one of the NHL’s most dynamic and exciting talents, suffered a lacerated Achilles tendon when Matt Cooke’s skate sliced his leg. Karlsson’s season is likely over.

Almost two years ago, James van Riemsdyk’s skate cut Sabres captain Jason Pominville in Philadelphia, slicing a tendon. The winger’s Achilles was spared, however. Still, Pominville endured a long rehab.

Here’s ... Read the full article

Fans will have more opportunities to see Cody Hodgson and Jordan Leopold up close. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

New ‘Sabres Standby’ program will offer more tickets to public

BUFFALO – Beginning with Friday’s game against Boston, fans can purchase last-minute tickets to Sabres contests at the First Niagara Center through the new “Sabres Standby” program, the team announced today.

Fans can sign up to be part of a queue of potential ticket-buyers at sabres.com/standby starting at 7 p.m. tonight and be eligible to purchase from a limited quantity of tickets.

The NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement requires each team to reserve an increased ... Read the full article

Thomas Vanek has already provided many memorable moments this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Which Vanek goal is your favorite?

Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is finally looking mortal. Following two straight pointless games, the slick winger’s “down” to a 40-goal, 83-point pace.

But, hey, that would be an amazing season during a normal 82-game campaign.

Vanek’s still enjoying an awesome run. His 11 goals and 23 points both lead the NHL. This could still be a season for the history books.

So far, which Vanek goal is your favorite? I’ve narrowed it down to three. ... Read the full article