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Boston Bruins

Jack Eichel (15) pursue Boston's Patrice Bergeron on Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Back to reality. Following two high-scoring, entertaining wins last week, the Sabres reverted back into their regular form Saturday afternoon, losing 2-1 to the Boston Bruins in a drab affair inside KeyBank Center.

Incredibly, it was the Sabres’ ninth 2-1 game this season. They’ve only played 24 times. It marked the 12th time they’ve scored one goal or less.

After three early shots, the Sabres went the final 15:16 of the first period without registering one.

“I liked our first five …

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Brendan Guhle look comfortable Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early in his NHL debut Saturday afternoon, Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle, like any youngster thrust into the spotlight, said he felt “a lot” of nerves.

Who could blame him? A day earlier, the defenseman was in British Columbia preparing for a junior Western Hockey League game.

On Saturday, after the Sabres made an emergency recall, they threw Guhle headfirst into the action, skating him 16 minutes, 20 seconds in their 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

“First couple of shifts, I …

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Brendan Guhle was surprised to be recalled. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Brendan Guhle was warming up with his junior Prince George Cougars teammates Friday when his coach gave him some unexpected news.

“Told me I was traded to the Sabres,” a smiling Guhle, who was summoned to help the Sabres’ beleaguered blue line, said this morning prior to his NHL debut.

Actually, the Sabres recalled Guhle, their top defense prospect, on an emergency basis for this afternoon’s tilt against the Boston Bruins inside KeyBank Center because Josh Gorges blocked …

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Jack Eichel has gotten off to a scorching start. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – It was Sunday morning, more than two days before center Jack Eichel finally returned from his 21-game absence, when coach Dan Bylsma first noticed a change in his Sabres, owners of the NHL’s worst offense.

Thanks to Eichel’s presence in practice, Bylsma said he saw “confidence and an excitement brewing about us being able to score goals and how we need to play.”

Never mind the Sabres had lost eight of their last 10 games at that point. Never mind …

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Brendan Guhle has impressed the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In a surprising move, the Sabres dipped into junior hockey Friday and recalled Brendan Guhle, their top defense prospect, on an emergency basis to replace the injured Josh Gorges.

Guhle, 19, almost made the Sabres out of training camp the last two years. The 2015 second-round pick will likely make his NHL debut this afternoon against the Boston Bruins inside KeyBank Center.

Gorges blocked a shot in Thursday’s 4-3 win against the New York Rangers, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. …

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Robin Lehner has looked sharp in his last five appearances. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In the beginning of the season, back when the Sabres’ netminding was a huge question mark, coach Dan Bylsma said he scribbled some numbers on a board in goalie coach Andrew Allen’s office.

Countless components must mesh for success in the modern NHL, but if a coach doesn’t receive great goaltending in this low-scoring era, his team is essentially cooked.

Right now, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner has compiled stronger numbers – a 2.22 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage, …

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Dan Catenacci has never played an NHL game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during his last shift in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will likely miss tonight’s rematch in Boston, coach Dan Bylsma said.

To replace Foligno, the Sabres recalled forward Dan Catenacci from the Rochester Americans on Friday. Catenacci, 22, could make his NHL debut tonight.

Foligno’s day-to-day, Bylsma said Friday following the Sabres’ optional practice inside HarborCenter.

“I don’t anticipate it will be week-to-week,” he said.

Catenacci has often been one of …

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Sabres goalie Chad Johnson makes a second-period save Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Despite blowing a two-goal lead at home and losing a precious point to a division rival they’re chasing, the Sabres felt pretty good about the single point they earned for Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.

“We deserved to have better in this game and let it slip away,” said coach Dan Bylsma, whose Sabres have earned five points in the last three games and are 6-4-1 in their last 11 outings.

Realistically, if the Sabres have any …

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Johan Larsson has only two goals this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early in the Sabres’ 4-2 comeback win Wednesday in Montreal, for one of the few times this season, center Johan Larsson drove to the net with authority and narrowly missed scoring just his second goal.

With 8:14 left in the contest, the Swede skated to the crease again and was rewarded with his first score in 20 games, the winner against the Canadiens.

For Larsson, 23, it was his best performance in what has mostly been a colossally disappointing season.

“No …

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Ramsus Ristolainen has his friends in town. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In his three NHL seasons, Rasmus Ristolainen’s close friends from his native Finland had never seen him play in person. Naturally, the defenseman wanted to make their first experience worthwhile, so he figured they should watch him in Montreal’s Bell Centre, one of the league’s best venues.

On Wednesday, five friends saw Ristolainen play in the Sabres’ 4-2 comeback win against the Canadiens. TV cameras caught the group clad in blue No. 55 Ristolainen jerseys and kept showing them …

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