Ville Leino hasn't played yet this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Leino says injured hip improving, has no plans for surgery

BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres winger Ville Leino has no plans to undergo surgery on the injured right hip that will sideline him a fourth straight game tonight.

Leino enjoyed a strong 20-minute skate this morning inside the First Niagara Center before he began feeling tired and the hip tightened up, he said. Still, that represents progress.

“It feels better,” Leino said this morning. “Today it felt a lot better.”

Surgery, Leino said, could be ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (front) and Thomas Vanek began skating together regularly last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Pominville, Vanek proving to be dynamic wing combination

BUFFALO – Early in the second period of the Sabres’ 2-1 win Monday, Thomas Vanek knocked Nikolai Kulemin down in his own zone, grabbed the loose puck and zoomed down the left wing into Toronto territory on a three-on-two break.

Vanek then laid a perfect pass over to Jason Pominville, almost without looking, as he stopped at the top of the left circle. Cody Hodgson, meanwhile, was roaring to the crease with a ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe practiced with Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott on Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Gerbe close to returning; Enroth to get first start

BUFFALO – While Nathan Gerbe still had to be cleared to play Wednesday, it appears the feisty Sabres winger could make his season debut tonight in Carolina after undergoing offseason spine surgery.

Gerbe skated on the wing Wednesday beside 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott, his first action on a regular line this year.

“We’ll see where he’s at (today),” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Gerbe underwent ... Read the full article

Jaroslav Spacek has experienced a difficult season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres standout Spacek happy to be parked in Carolina

BUFFALO – With three Canadian sports networks and thousands of blogs and message boards bandying his name around all trade deadline day, a nervous Jaroslav Spacek tried to escape the commotion by taking a nap.

The likable Carolina Hurricanes defenseman made one big mistake, though. He left his cell phone beside him. He was barraged with text messages.

“I tried to lay down, enjoy (it). But after 30 minutes I was like, ‘Jesus.’ I turned ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres shake off awful start, beat Hurricanes in OT

BUFFALO – In the first period Wednesday, after the lethargic Sabres coasted back during a power play and nearly fell behind 2-0 to the Carolina Hurricanes, Lindy Ruff finally had enough.

When the guilty players reached the bench, the coach reamed them out.

“The first period, it wasn’t a great period on our part,” Ruff said following the Sabres’ 3-2 overtime triumph inside the First Niagara Center. “Some of it was execution. Some of it ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres newcomer Hodgson finally plays game in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Nine days after the Sabres acquired center Cody Hodgson from the Vancouver Canucks in a blockbuster deal at the NHL trade deadline, the 22-year-old rookie finally skated on the First Niagara Center ice Wednesday.

Hodgson had been experiencing a whirlwind acclimation to his new team on the road, and his head hasn’t stopped spinning.

“Has it been that long, really?” Hodgson said Wednesday morning inside the FNC when informed the trade was nine ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres positioned for unlikely run at postseason

BUFFALO – Go ahead, pick the dates the underachieving Sabres appeared finished and primed to play out the string for a lottery pick.

There are plenty, you know.

There was that embarrassing 5-0 dismantling Jan. 16 in Detroit, after which an emotional Ryan Miller said a trade wouldn’t help the Sabres. Two nights later, the Blackhawks throttled them 6-2 in Chicago, the third of five straight losses on a six game-trip.

On Feb. 16, the ... Read the full article