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

Evander Kane also sat out Saturday's game. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to sit Evander Kane again; Chad Johnson to start against Bruins

BUFFALO – As expected, Sabres winger Evander Kane, who will almost certainly be traded before Monday’s 3 pm deadline, will sit out this afternoon’s tilt against the Boston Bruins.

The Sabres, of course, don’t want to risk injury to their most valuable trade asset. Kane also was scratched for Saturday’s 5-1 loss in Washington.

Goalie Chad Johnson will start, so does that mean the Sabres have something brewing with starting netminder Robin Lehner, ... Read the full article

Briian Gionta (12) skates between Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm (47) and Brandon Montour (71) last season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Bruins sign former Sabres captain Brian Gionta to one-year contract

BUFFALO – The Boston Bruins today signed former Sabres captain Brian Gionta to a one-year contact worth a prorated $700,000.

Gionta, 39, passed on NHL opportunities before the season so he could represent Team USA at the Pyeongchang Games, his second Olympics. The Greece native captained the Americans to a seventh-place finish.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has played all 55 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel leaves game injured

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel left Saturday’s 4-2 win in Boston in the first period after his right leg bent awkwardly as he fell into the end boards.

Eichel, who got tangled with Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, then skated off on his own as he grimaced in pain.

Following the Sabres’ second straight victory, coach Phil Housley had no update on Eichel, the team’s only NHL All-Star.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Winnipeg's Tobias Enstrom on Jan. 9. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Winter Classic helped Sabres’ Sam Reinhart bust long slump

BUFFALO – In his short career, Sam Reinhart had never competed on a stage as grand as Citi Field in New York. Sure, the Sabres winger had played in more meaningful games than the Winter Classic.

But the NHL’s signature regular-season event, an outdoor game watched by millions across North America, is a big deal.

So when Reinhart scored for the first time in 17 games on New Year’s Day, a power-play goal he called ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner makes a stop Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t score again, waste another strong Robin Lehner effort

BUFFALO – In Robin Lehner’s 13 appearances at home, the goalie has morphed into the Sabres’ only consistent presence, providing the feeble club a chance to win most nights.

Lehner has performed splendidly at KeyBank Center this season, compiling a 1.94 goals against average (No. 1 at home in the NHL) and a .935 save percentage (tied for first).

But the hapless Sabres own the NHL’s worst offense, averaging 2.1 goals a game. Incredibly, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has poor numbers this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson positive through rough stretch

BUFFALO – To Chad Johnson, his weak numbers are deceiving. Other than a poor 20-minute outing, the Sabres goalie believes he has played well this season.

Naturally, Johnson is frustrated. In 12 games, he is 1-5-3 with a ghastly 3.76 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage, his lone win coming Oct. 15.

Among goalies with 10 or more appearances this season, only Vegas Golden Knights rookie Maxime Lagace has a higher goals-against average and ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has one win this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson feeling good about game

BUFFALO – To Chad Johnson, his weak numbers are deceiving. Other than a poor 20-minute outing, the Sabres goalie believes he has played well this season.

Naturally, Johnson is frustrated. In 12 games, he is 1-5-3 with a ghastly 3.76 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage, his lone win coming Oct. 15.

Among goalies with 10 or more appearances this season, only Vegas Golden Knights rookie Maxime Lagace has a higher goals-against average and ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and Johan Larsson (22) squeeze Boston's Patrice Bergeron on Dec. 29. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Improved Sabres looking up at Bruins

BUFFALO – Having played eight seasons in the old Adams Division, coach Phil Housley understands the Sabres-Bruins rivalry well. Back then, the foes played each other eight times a season and played two memorable playoff series in 1983 and 1988.

“The Buffalo-Boston games have always been physical,” Housley said this morning. “It’s a big divisional game. … They’re in a pretty good spot right now.”

The third-place Bruins are five spots ahead of the last-place ... Read the full article