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 tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs ... 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

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

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

Ryan O'Reilly's ice time hasn't dipped much. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly still relied upon heavily

BUFFALO – Ideally, the Sabres won’t have to keep utilizing versatile center Ryan O’Reilly for more than 25 minutes a game like they did in Sunday’s 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh.

O’Reilly, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said, has a “sweet spot” for his ice time. While he didn’t give a specific number, it’s probably in the 21- or 22-minute range.

Bylsma said during training camp he wanted to give O’Reilly, who led all NHL forwards in ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma talks during Wednesday's practice. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray: Awful road trip players’ fault

BUFFALO – Despite a loss in their final outing before last week’s bye, the Sabres entered the short break playing perhaps their best hockey all season. For the first time in years, the playoffs, while still a long shot, felt like a possibility.

Then the schedule resumed with road games against Colorado and Arizona, the NHL’s two worst teams.

“We go out west and we just can’t play, and that’s to me squarely on ... Read the full article

Evander Kane skates today. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Trade deadline looms for Sabres

BUFFALO – Some trade deadline practice notes from KeyBank Center, where the media is gathered in the press room with a television tuned, of course, to TSN:

– Sporting some new lines, the Sabres practiced around 45 minutes today. Naturally, the looming deadline was felt a bit.

“A little of that lingers with an impending 3 o’clock deadline,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “But treat the situations and the players like they’re going to be ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste beats St. Louis goalie Jake Allen on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nick Baptiste scores early in return to Sabres

BUFFALO – A positive trend has developed in the last few months for the Sabres. Each time they recall one of their forward prospects from the Rochester Americans, the youngsters make a strong case to stick around.

Rookies Justin Bailey, William Carrier and Evan Rodrigues have all seized their opportunities and started earning regular NHL duty.

After speedy winger Nick Baptiste’s impressive performance in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues – ... Read the full article