Brady Austin spent three seasons in the AHL before his first NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Brady Austin impressive in first NHL action

BUFFALO – Brady Austin knew his first recall could be imminent. Most minors leaguers, whether they admit it or not, pay attention to the parent club. The defenseman heard about the injuries to the Sabres’ injury-ravaged blue line.

Still, Austin didn’t want to become too excited.

“You don’t want to get your hopes up in case you don’t get the call,” Austin said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins inside ... Read the full article

Brady Austin was a seventh-round pick in 2012. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Brady Austin, Casey Nelson from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres, down four defensemen to injury, recalled Brady Austin and Casey Nelson from the Rochester Americans this morning.

Austin, 23, will almost certainly make his NHL debut in tonight’s road tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, Nelson, 24, has already made 16 appearances with the Sabres.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Austin has two goals, nine points, 36 penalty minutes and a minus-10 rating in 61 games with the Amerks this season, his ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen scored his first shootout goal on his first attempt Friday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres workhorse Rasmus Ristolainen willing to carry load

BUFFALO – Back in August, a crew in Rasmus Ristolainen’s native Finland filmed the Sabres defenseman utilizing some slick shootout moves – in the video, he dekes right before deftly backhanding the puck in with just his left hand – during a practice session.

At the end of the clip posted on Youtube.com, Ristolainen says in Finnish he would showcase the same moves if he received an opportunity in an NHL shootout.

This season, the ... Read the full article

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

Taylor Fedun has played 25 NHL games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Taylor Fedun to replace Justin Falk

The Buffalo Sabres today recalled defenseman Taylor Fedun to replace Justin Falk, who recently bruised his calf blocking a shot, coach Dan Bylsma told reporters in California.

Fedun, 28, played 25 games with the Sabres earlier this season, compiling seven assists. The Princeton product has five goals and 23 points in 29 appearances with the AHL Rochester Americans.

The Sabres will also be without winger Justin Bailey for tonight’s road tilt against the ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers has a two-game point streak. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers finally playing, contributing

BUFFALO – When Sabres coach Dan Bylsma charged Nick Deslauriers with creating some energy, the gritty winger’s first instinct, of course, was to fight.

But these days, those opportunities are scarce. Deslauriers has only fought four times this season. He certainly wasn’t going to find one enjoying a rare shift on the first line with the listless Sabres down three goals Saturday.

“I would’ve loved to get a fight there, but I don’t think ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) tries to stuff the puck past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back from early deficit, beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – As if the season-killing streak the Sabres have recently endured wasn’t bad enough, it looked like they might hit rock bottom again Saturday.

Early on, the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets simply outclassed the Sabres, opening a 3-0 first-period lead.

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, so good at home this season, performed terribly for 20 minutes. Defenseman Jake McCabe, one of the steadiest Sabres all season, struggled through perhaps the worst period of ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has played 19 straight games. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Bailey has opportunity to stay

BUFFALO – Right now, thanks to his torrid goal-scoring run in the AHL and some injuries with the big club, Sabres winger Justin Bailey has the best opportunity of his young career to stick in the NHL for good.

For the last five weeks, the speedy Bailey, 21, has enjoyed regular duty, playing 19 straight games. Some contests the Williamsville native has skated on a top line.

“It’s a really big one,” Sabres coach Dan ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson has played 22 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson to start

BUFFALO – Some quick updates from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres close a back-to-back set tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson will start, just his third nod in the last 16 games. The Swede is 9-9-4 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 22 games this season.

Starting goalie Robin Lehner, who made 35 saves in Friday’s 4-3 loss in Columbus, has been slumping. Since ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno (82) contends for the puck with Tampa Bay's Vladislav Namestnikov on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to establish identity in final 15 games

BUFFALO – Technically, the Sabres are still alive in the playoff chase. Thanks to seven losses in eight games, it only seems like they’ve been eliminated.

But realistically, the seventh-place Sabres are finished. They must climb four teams and make up at least seven points to reach the final wild card spot.

The odds of that happening? Try 0.2 percent, according to sportclubstats.com.

Fifteen games are left, starting with tonight’s road tilt against the ... Read the full article