Dmitry Kulikov scores his second goal this season Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov turns corner

BUFFALO – To Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, the worst appears to be behind defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who has struggled throughout an injured-plagued season.

Fresh off a nine-game absence, Kulikov enjoyed his finest outing all season in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Toronto, scoring a power-play goal and feeding Jack Eichel for another score on the man advantage.

But before Kulikov returned from an upper-body injury, Bylsma could tell the Russian, who has battled a ... Read the full article

Evander Kane celebrates his first-period goal Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres silence Toronto fans, beat Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – The 11,000 or so Toronto Maple Leafs fans who invaded a packed KeyBank Center on Saturday – they greatly outnumbered the home portion – started making their presence known about 20 minutes before the opening faceoff of the Sabres’ entertaining 5-2 win.

This visit from the upstart Leafs was different than recent ones throughout their sorry run of futility. For the first time in a long time, Toronto is good, filled with prime ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has been playing bigger minutes. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian has chance to impress

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian’s ninth NHL season has become perhaps his worst.

While the Massena native still plays just over 20 minutes a game, he believes his role has diminished a bit. He no longer plays on the power play regularly. With only one goal and nine points in 49 games, he could set new offensive lows.

Bogosian, by the way, will miss the postseason again. Saturday’s 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian hasn't produced offensively this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian has opportunity to play big minutes

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian’s ninth NHL season has become perhaps his worst.

While the Massena native still plays just over 20 minutes a game, he believes his role has diminished a bit. He no longer plays on the power play regularly. With only one goal and eight points in 48 games, he will almost certainly set new offensive lows.

Bogosian, by the way, will miss the postseason again. Tonight’s tilt against the ... Read the full article

Brady Austin played his 200th AHL game Friday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Impressive early action earned Sabres’ Brady Austin another look

BUFFALO – For the second time this week, the Sabres have recalled Brady Austin from the Rochester Americans. Days ago, the defenseman was an unknown prospect, a former seventh-round pick 200 games into his pro career.

But two games into his NHL career, Austin, 23, has already turned some heads, utilizing his 6-foot-4, 230-pound body while showcasing notable speed for a big man.

That’s why the Sabres summoned him again this morning for tonight’s tilt ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis hasn't scored a goal since Feb. 12. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis worried about future

BUFFALO – The smile, the upbeat personality are still there. Even as Sabres winger Tyler Ennis spoke openly about his trying season Friday, he sounded excited for his fresh opportunity on the top line, like he couldn’t wait for tonight’s home tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs to start.

Of course, the affable Ennis, who has zero goals in the last 17 games, still worries about his uncertain future. But to him, it’s a terrific ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (left) fights Toronto's James van Riemsdyk on Feb. 11. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen’s suspension surprises Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen never expected he would be suspended for hitting Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel in the head Tuesday. Coach Dan Bylsma never expected the ban would be so long.

But in the end, the Sabres will be without their No. 1 defenseman and arguably best player for the next three games, starting with tonight’s home tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I didn’t expect anything,” Ristolainen said Friday following practice ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen must sit three games. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen never expected to be suspended

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen never expected he would be suspended for hitting Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel in the head Tuesday. Coach Dan Bylsma never expected the ban would be so long.

But in the end, the Sabres will be without their No. 1 defenseman and arguably best player for the next three games, starting with Saturday’s home tilt against Toronto.

“I didn’t expect anything,” Ristolainen said this afternoon following practice inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

William Carrier practiced with his teammates again Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ William Carrier, Kyle Okposo healed, ready to contribute

BUFFALO – William Carrier couldn’t resist. So before answering a question Thursday, the excited Sabres rookie greeted a crowd of reporters with a short opening statement.

“I’m back, everyone,” a smiling Carrier said inside HarborCenter.

Carrier, sidelined 24 games by a bone bruise in his knee, wasn’t the only injured player back Thursday. Sabres winger Kyle Okposo and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov also returned to practice.

All three are on track to play Saturday at home ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has a phone hearing this afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen explains hit on Jake Guentzel

BUFFALO – When Rasmus Ristolainen leveled Jake Guentzel, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie bloodied and concussed early in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss, the Sabres defenseman never expected to be ejected from the game.

Ristolainen, however, now understands why he was given a five-minute interference penalty.

“He obviously didn’t have the puck … he got injured,” Ristolainen said this afternoon following practice inside HarborCenter. “I don’t know what the rules are, but it was probably the ... Read the full article