Training Camp Edition

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Boston Bruins

Robin Lehner has looked sharp in his last five appearances. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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
0

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
0

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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David Legwand (17) scores is first-period goal Friday on Boston goalie Jonas Gustavsson. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Those good feelings the Sabres created earlier this week by winning two straight road games vanished Friday in a mostly boring, uninspired 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins inside a quiet First Niagara Center.

In No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner’s return after missing more than three months with a high ankle sprain, the Sabres lost for the for the seventh time in nine games and dropped their 16th home contest (8-14-2).

Graying veteran David Legwand’s third goal this season and …

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Marcus Foligno has been a noticeable presence recently. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For perhaps the first time all season, enigmatic forwards Marcus Foligno and Johan Larsson are playing well at the same time, meaning the Sabres have finally started receiving some notable contributions from their third line.

For the last four games, Foligno, Larsson and captain Brian Gionta have been one of the Sabres’ strongest trios, contributing some much-needed offense and grit while often facing the opposition’s best.

Larsson, the center, skated a season-high 17 minutes, 59 seconds in Tuesday’s 3-2 win …

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Jack Eichel had a career-high four points Dec. 26 against Boston. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Thursday, after the Sabres recalled Robin Lehner from his three-game AHL conditioning assignment, coach Dan Bylsma thought his goalie looked tired.

Following Lehner’s final rehab game Wednesday in Albany, the Americans had a long bus trip back to Rochester in inclement weather. The Swede only slept three hours before practicing with the Sabres.

It appeared the Bylsma might give Lehner, out since Oct. 8 with a high right ankle sprain, more time to rest before playing only his second …

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Robin Lehner has played one game for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – During some tough days over the last three months, as Robin Lehner recovered and rehabbed from the injury he suffered opening night, the goalie leaned on his family and friends for support.

Lehner just endured an arduous 11 months, suffering a season-ending concussion last year with Ottawa and a high right ankle sprain Oct. 8, only 28 minutes into his debut as the Sabres’ new starter.

The Swede had never experienced a major injury before.

“It’s been hard, you know?” Lehner …

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Jack Eichel will play his first NHL game in Boston tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie Jack Eichel has played big games in his hometown rink, Boston’s TD Garden, before. As a college freshman last season, the center starred as his Boston University Terriers captured The Beanpot, a prestigious tournament between local schools.

Google “Eichel” and “Beanpot” and a slew of pictures of an ecstatic Eichel clutching the Beanpot trophy will pop up.

But tonight’s tilt against the Bruins, Eichel’s first appearance in Boston with the Sabres, will be a much different experience for …

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