Cody Franson (6) battles Arizona's Shane Doan on March 2. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must recall defensemen from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres, down a whopping four defensemen, plan to recall two from the Rochester Americans for Monday’s road tilt in Detroit, coach Dan Bylsma said.

They practiced with only four healthy defenders this morning inside HarborCenter.

Not exactly ideal, huh?

Defensemen Taylor Fedun (foot) and Cody Franson (unspecified) were injured in Friday’s 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim. Justin Falk (bruised calf, two games) and Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, seven games) are also hurt.... Read the full article

Josh Gorges has missed three games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges close to returning from foot fracture

BUFFALO – When practice started this morning, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges, who was supposed to be sidelined weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left foot, was skating with his teammates.

Incredibly, Gorges, who has missed three games, could play Friday against Washington.

“Testing it out, seeing how it feels,” Gorges said inside KeyBank Center. “When it’s in your boot, it’s not much different than being in your skate. The boot will act to ... Read the full article

Erik Burgdoerfer spent his entire career in the minors before Monday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Erik Burgdoerfer waited for NHL opportunity

BUFFALO – Less than three years ago, Sabres defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer was an unknown ECHL journeyman stuck two rungs below the NHL.

Four seasons into his career, Burgdoerfer, 27, had barely even sniffed the AHL.

His NHL dream was dying.

“When you play in the ECHL for four straight years, you’re turning 25, you definitely have some times when you’re doubting yourself,” Burgdoerfer said Tuesday prior to his second NHL game, a 4-3 overtime win ... Read the full article

Erik Burgdoerfer signed a two-way contract in July. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Erik Burgdoerfer paid dues to reach NHL

Less than three years ago, Erik Burgdoerfer was an unknown ECHL defenseman playing his fourth season with the Bakersfield Condors.

Tonight against the Washington Capitals, after a stunning 429 minor league games, Burgdoerfer will make his NHL debut with the Buffalo Sabres.

“I’m wondering how the heck, from what I’ve seen so far, (he) played five years in the East Coast Hockey League,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said during training camp. “Somebody somewhere has missed ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov has battled a back injury all season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov nearing return as Josh Gorges leaves lineup

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges has a non-displaced fracture in his foot and will be sidelined “weeks,” coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday.

There is, however, some good news for the Sabres’ injury-ravaged blue line, which is missing three regulars. Dmitry Kulikov, out the last 11 games with a back injury, practiced Sunday inside HarborCenter and is day-to-day, Bylsma said.

Still, the Russian likely won’t play in tonight’s road tilt against the Washington Capitals. ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov has missed 11 straight games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges out weeks; Dmitry Kulikov nearing return

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges has a non-displaced fracture in his foot and will be sidelined “weeks,” coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

There is, however, some good news for the Sabres’ beleaguered blue line. Dmitry Kulikov, out the last 11 games with a back injury, practiced today inside HarborCenter and is day-to-day, Bylsma said.

Still, it appears unlikely the Russian will return for Monday’s game in Washington. Later in the week appears to ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly played just part of one preseason game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly day-to-day

BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly is day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s 3-2 preseason loss early as a precaution because of a spasm in his back and midsection, coach Dan Bylsma said.

O’Reilly, who was playing his first preseason game following the World Cup of Hockey, didn’t practice this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. He’s out of Friday’s exhibition finale in Ottawa, Bylsma said.

The Sabres, of course, are dealing with a slew of injuries exactly one ... Read the full article

William Nylander (left) had some fun interviewing his brother, Alexander, before the NHL Draft in June. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander enjoys special night against brother

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – Growing up, Buffalo Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander and his brother, William, a Toronto Maple Leafs youngster, were ultra-competitive in whatever game or sport they played.

So, despite being very close, the Nylanders would occasionally get a little emotional.

“We fought a lot, there was a lot when we were playing knee hockey, shinny,” an excited Alexander Nylander said Thursday morning prior to the Sabres’ 1-0 preseason shootout win, their first-ever meeting ... Read the full article

William Nylander (left) interviews his brother, Alexander, before the NHL Draft in June. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready for meeting with brother

BUFFALO – Growing up, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander and his brother, William, a Toronto Maple Leafs youngster, were ultra-competitive in whatever game or sport they played.

So, despite being very close, the Nylanders would occasionally get a little emotional.

“We fought a lot, there was a lot when we were playing knee hockey, shinny,” Alexander Nylander said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “We always came clean after it and were best buddies again.”

Don’t expect ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner plans to play the entire game tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – Six months removed from ankle surgery, fiery Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, as you might expect, is excited to play his first game preseason game tonight.

“I don’t know if the excitement I sense is because it’s a new year and where he’s at physically and being ready to go or playing the Ottawa Senators and (he) doesn’t want (Mike) Hoffman to score tonight,” coach Dan Bylsma said after the Sabres prepared for ... Read the full article