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

Nathan Beaulieu has four fights this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nathan Beaulieu ‘big believer in fighting’

BUFFALO – In his NHL career, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has fought 12 times, or an average of once every 23 games.

Speed and other skills, of course, helped Beaulieu reach the big leagues. Still, he believes fighting is a vital part of his repertoire.

“I’m a big believer in fighting in hockey,” Beaulieu said prior to recording an assist in Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. “I feel like there’s a place ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (right) fights Toronto's Matt Martin on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start slowly, fall to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s decision to challenge one of the NHL’s toughest customers had the desired effect for the reeling Sabres.

With the Sabres down 2-0 just minutes into Thursday’s 5-2 loss, Beaulieu picked a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs heavyweight Matt Martin.

“Sometimes it’s just something you need to do,” Beaulieu said. “A lot of respect over there to give me that opportunity. He’s a tough customer. Just trying to wake the boys ... 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

Brendan Guhle was also recalled in January. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Brendan Guhle to utilize speed during recall

BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.

Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.

So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot scores his first-period goal aganst Boston goalie Anton Khudobin on Sunday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres beat up Bruins with trade deadline looming

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo is a self-proclaimed “hockey nerd,” so the Sabres winger plans to follow today’s trade activity closely until the 3 p.m. deadline.

“I’ll be probably looking at stuff most of the day,” Okposo said following Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins before 18,522 fans inside KeyBank Center. “It’s an exciting day for the league.”

While deadline day is always highly anticipated by fans, most players dread it. The hours leading ... Read the full article

Rick Nash skates in his Bruins debut Sunday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Bruins land Rick Nash, Brian Gionta before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday, Rick Nash walked into KeyBank Center to meet his new teammates. Several minutes later, the veteran winger emerged from the dressing room clad in Boston Bruins apparel to chat with the media.

“I’ve only been here for five minutes and I can kind of sense that buzz, sense that excitement, the energy that a winning team has,” an excited Nash said prior to Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to ... 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

Evan Rodrigues moved up to the top line Thursday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues back beside college linemate Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues formed perhaps college hockey’s best duo, piling up points during Boston University’s run to the national championship game.

Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman. Meanwhile, Rodrigues enjoyed a monster senior season, compiling 61 points in 41 games.

“We kind of knew where each other were all over the ice,” Rodrigues said Thursday prior to scoring his first goal in 22 games. “We ... Read the full article