Nick Baptiste (13) skates away from his teammates after celebrating his game-winning goal Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Nick Baptiste stars in rare Sabres win over Blackhawks

BUFFALO – On a Sabres team filled with, well, not exactly the fastest players, winger Nick Baptiste’s speed stands out.

Slick skating has helped the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Baptiste finally earn regular NHL action three years into his pro career. But the former third-round pick has played 12 straight games because he has evolved and started figuring what can make him successful.... Read the full article

Robin Lehner makes a save on Vegas' Tomas Hyka on Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

With goalie Linus Ullmark up, Sabres have crowded net

BUFFALO – Before a rough outing last week, Sabres backup Chad Johnson was among the NHL’s hottest goalies, going 6-2-0 over a six-week stretch.

But Johnson, 31, might be getting a break soon. In fact, in the near future, he could even be scratched for some games.

Right now, the Sabres have three healthy goalies – Johnson, starter Robin Lehner and prospect Linus Ullmark – on the roster.

The Sabres recalled Ullmark, 24, their ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel pursues Detroit's Niklas Kronwall on Oct. 24. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel out Thursday; Kyle Okposo doing well

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jack Eichel won’t be ready for Thursday’s home tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs and will miss his 15th straight game.

Still, Eichel, who returned to practice Tuesday, has been progressing in his recovery from a high right ankle sprain. The Sabres just don’t want to rush the youngster.

“He felt really good today,” Housley said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “It’s one of those things we’re trying to ease ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) battles Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby on Dec. 1. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel feels good after first practice, unsure of return

BUFFALO – After practicing more than an hour Tuesday morning, Jack Eichel’s first team session since suffering a high right ankle sprain Feb. 10, the Sabres center wouldn’t put a timetable on his return.

But Eichel, the Sabres’ leading scorer, likely couldn’t have participated in the team’s toughest practice in weeks – players just enjoyed two days off, a rarity – if he wasn’t capable of playing soon.

The Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey flies past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after scoring his third-period goal. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow late lead, lose shootout to Golden Knights

BUFFALO – Early in the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot roared into the Vegas zone, beat defenseman Shea Theodore to a loose puck and quickly dished it to linemate Justin Bailey, who was trailing the play in the slot.

Bailey tucked the puck past Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at the 2:47 mark, then went airborne after tripping on his right pad.

The Williamsville native, who was playing his first game ... Read the full article

Jonathan Marchessault has compiled 65 points in 65 games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault quietly productive

BUFFALO – After earning only four NHL appearances over his first four pro seasons, Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault decided he would give himself one more year to crack the big league.

“If I didn’t make it, I was going to go to Europe, because I was getting great offers in Europe,” Marchessault said Friday inside KeyBank Center. “A lot of people do a decent living over there, do a great career.”... Read the full article

Justin Bailey recently started scoring again in Rochester. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Bailey thrilled to be recalled from Amerks

BUFFALO – Finally, after a 21-game goalless stretch in the AHL, Sabres winger Justin Bailey recently started performing like his old self.

Prior to getting summoned Friday, the Williamsville native had four goals and five points in the last five games with the Rochester Americans.

A high ankle sprain he suffered during his last recall helped derail Bailey’s promising season. He struggled to recover from one of hockey’s trickiest injuries, looking nothing like the youngster ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo was hospitalized after suffering a concussion last season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo out indefinitely with concussion

BUFFALO – Concerns over Kyle Okposo’s second concussion in less than a year are heightened since the Sabres winger was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering one last March.

The Sabres announced this morning a concussion Okposo suffered when he collided with Senators winger Bobby Ryan will sideline him indefinitely.... Read the full article

Justin Bailey hasn't scored in the AHL since opening night. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Justin Bailey struggling to score after ankle injury

BUFFALO – Chris Taylor knows winger Justin Bailey better than anyone in the Sabres organization.

Before the Americans coach left Rochester for a year, he was an assistant with the AHL club, helping the Williamsville native earn his first NHL recall as a rookie two seasons ago.

Taylor mentored Bailey, 22, watching him develop from a raw prospect into a youngster the Sabres have played 47 times over the last three seasons.... Read the full article

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