Marcus Foligno was playing some of his best hockey ever in December. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Lots has gone wrong for Sabres in awful season

BUFFALO – Given the Sabres’ sorry state these days, it’s almost difficult to remember now. But for a brief stretch earlier this season, they morphed into a young team on the rise, winning a string of exciting games in dramatic fashion.

The rebuilding club triumphed 10 times in 13 games – they have only 20 victories in 75 outings all season – during a rollicking run in November and December, roaring back night after night.... Read the full article

The Sabres’ Zac Dalpe (20) is driven into New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski by Matt Hunwick (44) on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose again, get blanked by Rangers rookie Mackenzie Skapski

BUFFALO – These days, as the Sabres’ awful season mercifully winds down, their efforts have remained strong.

Sure, they’re badly outmatched every game. But tenacity and strong goaltending has leveled things out a bit, keeping them in some contests.

“We can’t ask for much more,” coach Ted Nolan said Saturday following the Sabres’ 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers, their sixth straight defeat.

Well, scoring a goal would help now and then.

They hung ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Zach Bogosian on Feb. 11. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian thriving playing big minutes on new team

BUFFALO – Zach Bogosian slipped into town under the radar last month. High-scoring winger Evander Kane and ace defenseman Tyler Myers garnered most of the attention in the Sabres’ blockbuster trade with the Winnipeg Jets, allowing the defenseman, the No. 3 pick in 2008, to quietly adjust to his new team.

“It’s kind of how I like it,” Bogosian said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “I wanted to come here and work ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (left) chats with assistant coach Bryan Trottier earlier this month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Johan Larsson impressing as Sabres’ No. 1 center

TORONTO – Johan Larsson’s new assignment really hit him when he lined up for a faceoff Saturday against Washington Capitals star Nicklas Backstrom, the NHL’s best playmaker and a fellow Swede.

Larsson, the Buffalo Sabres’ new No. 1 center, has only three goals and 11 points in 53 NHL games. After scoring a goal and two assists in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs – his first-ever three-point outing – the 22-year-old has ... Read the full article

Phil Varone celebrates his first NHL goal last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Varone excited for Toronto debut; Goalie Anders Lindback to start

TORONTO – Buffalo Sabres center Phil Varone didn’t want to leave the Air Canada Centre ice this afternoon. The native of nearby Vaughn, Ontario, a town about 30 minutes north of here, wanted to soak everything in prior to his first game against the Maple Leafs.

“I was just saying I think this is one rink that you come into and you’re like, ‘I’m in the NHL,’” Varone said after leaving the ice after most ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart skates between Vancouver's Eddie Lack (31) and Luca Sbisa (5) on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Chris Stewart prepared to leave Sabres at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Chris Stewart will leave town with no regrets, he said. Despite some tough times in Buffalo, he enjoyed playing here.

The Sabres will likely deal the honest veteran today before the 3 p.m. trade deadline, ending his one-year run with the rebuilding club. He’s excited about the fresh opportunity a trade could bring him.

A year ago at the deadline, St. Louis, a team built to win the Stanley Cup, dealt ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons blocked a shot Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons will play again this season

BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, who blocked a shot with his right ankle Tuesday, will play again this season, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.

Nolan hinted Girgensons could be finished after James Wisniewski’s shot hit the Latvian halfway through the 4-2 win in Columbus.

“It’s bad but not as bad as we thought,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Nolan wouldn’t say if Girgensons’ ankle was broken.

“It could be, ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov will likely sit out tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ patience with Nikita Zadorov could be wearing thin

BUFFALO – Each time Nikita Zadorov violates a team rule, it’s important to remember the Sabres defenseman wasn’t drafted by Tim Murray. The gruff general manager isn’t tied to the Russian.

Sure, Zadorov, the 16th pick in 2013, is an elite prospect. At just 19 years old, he’s already a big contributor to the Sabres. Zadorov recently compiled seven points in seven games. The Sabres scored only 16 times in that stretch. He could ... Read the full article

Andre Benoit has been scratched throughout this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Andre Benoit playing big minutes again

BUFFALO – In his first two NHL seasons, Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit enjoyed a regular role on strong playoff teams.

Benoit, 31, first earned notice two years ago as a late-bloomer in Ottawa. Last season in Colorado, he played more than 20 minutes a night, compiling 28 points.

This season, well, hasn’t been easy for Benoit, who made only his 39th appearance in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers inside the First ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth stops Philadelphia's Chris VandeVelde on Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Zach Bogosian impresses in debut, Sabres fall to Flyers

BUFFALO – There was no easing Zach Bogosian into the lineup or letting him get acclimated to the Sabres’ systems. Coach Ted Nolan threw the aggressive defenseman headfirst into the fray, skating his newest addition a game-high 24 minutes, 49 seconds in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Bogosian responded, recording 11 hits, the Sabres’ highest total this season.

“That’s the way I like to play,” Bogosian said. “I felt good to get out ... Read the full article