C.J. Smith has 27 points in his first 26 AHL games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect C.J. Smith piling up points with Amerks

ROCHESTER – It’s early, just 26 tilts into a 76-game season. Still, Buffalo Sabres prospect C.J. Smith hasn’t let up yet, compiling nine goals and a gaudy 27 points to start his AHL career.

So keep an eye on Smith, an undrafted winger the Sabres signed out of UMass Lowell late last season. The Americans’ leading scorer is on a 25-goal, 79-point pace over a full season.

How rare is a campaign like that?... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching rebounded in Rochester after a weak training camp. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Hudson Fasching wants to showcase heavy style

PITTSBURGH – Instead of battling for an NHL roster spot during training camp, Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching started slowly before Buffalo demoted him early.

As a rookie last season, Fasching’s strong camp forced the Sabres to keep him. This year, however, the winger never really contended for a spot.

“It wasn’t the camp that I wanted,” Fasching said Saturday prior to his NHL season debut, a 5-1 loss to the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena. ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson (34) skates away from Pittsburgh's Patric Hornqvist on March 21. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Casey Nelson recalled with Taylor Fedun injured

BUFFALO – After suffering a lower-body injury, Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun stayed on the bench for the rest of Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.

“He was trying to work through it,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Thursday. “He wanted to be a part of the team. It’s good to see him try to gut it out for a little bit.”

Fedun’s injury is so bad it will sideline him six to eight weeks, Housley ... Read the full article

Sidney Crosby has started slowly this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sidney Crosby, Penguins struggling entering tilt with Sabres

PITTSBURGH – Right now, superstar Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, look nothing like their normal selves.

Crosby, 30, has scored zero goals in the last 11 games. If the slick center doesn’t score tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, a team he has dominated over the years, it would equal a career-long goal drought.

Incredibly, the most prolific scorer of his generation hasn’t created much, either, mustering only three assists ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella has been playing big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marco Scandella sick; Alexander Nylander practicing with Amerks again

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella is “under the weather” but should play Tuesday in Pittsburgh, coach Phil Housley said.

Scandella, 27, missed today’s practice. With top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen injured, Scandella has become the Sabres’ top minute-muncher, skating 25 minutes some nights.

The newcomer has zero goals and three assists while averaging 23 minutes, 38 seconds of ice time in 17 outings this season.... Read the full article

Phil Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Respect growing for 1980s Sabres with Dave Andreychuk’s Hall of Fame honor

BUFFALO – Phil Housley laughed and sounded nostalgic recalling his memories of winger Dave Andreychuk and their eight seasons together as Sabres teammates.

The Sabres coach knows the 1980s aren’t regarded as the franchise’s golden era. Housley and Andreychuk advanced past the first round of the playoffs only once, as rookies in 1982-83. The decade is mostly known for its disappointment.... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner sported a different number to honor Craig Lehner early Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner to honor fallen Buffalo K-9 Officer on jersey

BUFFALO – The community’s emotional response to Craig Lehner’s death has moved Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, who will honor the Buffalo K-9 Officer tonight by wearing his name and radio number on a special Military Appreciation Night jersey.

The camouflage warm-up jersey has 43 and “C. Lehner” on the back. Craig Lehner, who died in a dive training exercise last month in the Niagara River, also served in the Army National Guard. The two have ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu hasn't played since Oct. 20.. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres slowly getting healthier

BUFFALO – Nathan Beaulieu knows a visit to Montreal, his first since the Canadiens traded him to the Sabres almost five months ago, is coming up.

“I’ve had that circled for a while,” the defenseman said of Saturday’s road tilt.

The game, of course, would be meaningful to Beaulieu, who played 225 games with the Canadiens after they drafted him 17th overall in 2011.... Read the full article

Zach Redmond has shuttled between the NHL and AHL for years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Zach Redmond for hobbled Matt Tennyson

BUFFALO – For four seasons, Sabres defenseman Zach Redmond shuttled between the St. John’s IceCaps and the NHL, first as a Winnipeg Jets prospect and later as a Montreal Canadiens depth veteran.

When the NHL called, Redmond, 29, couldn’t simply drive an hour or so down the thruway. Winnipeg, for example, is about 3,000 miles away. Redmond had limited flights to chose from and sometimes a five- or six-hour travel time from Newfoundland.... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste had three goals with Rochester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Baptiste likely to make season debut Tuesday

BUFFALO – After failing to earn a significant look during NHL training camp, Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste started his AHL season slowly, going pointless in his first five outings.

Finally, Baptiste, who potted 25 goals in 59 AHL contests last season, scored in his sixth game. The winger followed up by scoring twice in the final 2:25 of the Rochester Americans’ 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win against the Laval Rocket on Oct. 27.... Read the full article