Matt Hackett made 29 saves Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett still confident he can grab top job

BUFFALO – Nothing has changed, Matt Hackett said. Forget that he was enduring a terrible season in Rochester before injuries forced his recall. Forget that general manager Tim Murray recently said the Sabres’ goalie of the future likely wasn’t in the organization.

Hackett, a key piece of April’s Jason Pominville trade with the Wild, hasn’t lost much confidence. The 24-year-old still believes he can become the team’s No. 1 netminder, a coveted spot that’s up ... Read the full article

Nathan Lieuwen watches the play Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Injury to Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth forces Nathan Lieuwen to make NHL debut in loss to Canadiens

BUFFALO – Fresh off two weekend appearances with Rochester, goalie Nathan Lieuwen learned early Sunday he had earned his first recall to the Sabres.

Newcomer Michal Neuvirth was injured, so the 22-year-old would be backing up Jhonas Enroth inside the First Niagara Center.

“I was shocked. I was nervous. Everything,” a smiling Lieuwen said after stopping all 10 shots he faced in his NHL debut, a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. “I couldn’t stop ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher was never drafted and played in the ECHL briefly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cory Conacher endured long road to reach NHL dream

BUFFALO – There was no straight path to the NHL for Cory Conacher. About 10 years ago, after the AAA Burlington Cougars cut him, the diminutive Sabres winger figured his hockey career was over.

“You always run into a certain coach that just doesn’t like your physical stature,” Conacher recalled Friday, “and that’s kind of I think what happened.”

But the 5-foot-8 Conacher had a chip on his shoulder that would help buoy him ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford (21) and Cory Conacher (88) skate beside Nashville goalie Carter Hutton on Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Top line earning big minutes, providing Sabres’ only offense

BUFFALO – It was just about Ted Nolan’s only option for another goal. So the interim Sabres coach kept utilizing his top line throughout Tuesday’s disappointing 4-1 loss to Nashville.

Scorching winger Drew Stafford, who scored the Sabres’ lone goal on the power play, skated a season-high 23 minutes. Slick center Tyler Ennis played a team-high 24:17. Winger Cory Conacher skated a season-high 19:47.

“There was only one line basically going,” Nolan said ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford (right) batttles Chicago's Jonathan Toews on Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ready to see what new roster and youngsters can do

BUFFALO – About 15 Sabres gathered at a Tampa Bay restaurant Wednesday and nervously watched TSN’s coverage of the NHL trade deadline, unsure what their futures held.

“It was definitely a little stressful, a little anxiety involved,” said Sabres winger Drew Stafford, one veteran rumored to be on the block.

Stomachs churned and filled with butterflies staring at the screen. Everything can change in an instant.

“You’re watching and you’re seeing these guys on ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher made his Sabres debut Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cory Conacher asked Blackhawks star Patrick Kane for permission to wear No. 88

BUFFALO – While the Sabres never told newcomer Cory Conacher he couldn’t wear No. 89 again, the winger passed out of respect for Alexander Mogilny, who scored 76 goals in 1992-93.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to get 76 goals in a year, that’s going to be pretty tough,” Conacher joked Sunday inside the First Niagara Center prior to his Sabres debut, a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Conacher then settled on No. ... Read the full article

Cory Conacher speaks to reporters this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Cory Conacher OK’d number with Patrick Kane; Patrick Kaleta skating again

BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Cory Conacher said he spoke to a couple of people about choosing a number. The winger wouldn’t wear No. 89 again out of respect for Alexander Mogilny, who scored 76 goals in 1992-93.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to get 76 goals in a year, that’s going to be pretty tough,” Conacher said this morning inside the First Niagara Center prior to his Sabres debut.

Conacher then settled on No. ... Read the full article

Nicolas Deslauriers has never played in the NHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres summon Luke Adam and Nicolas Deslauriers from Amerks on emergency basis

BUFFALO – The Sabres have recalled wingers Luke Adam and Nicolas Deslauriers from Rochester on an emergency basis. They could play tonight in Florida.

Forwards Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart left Thursday’s 3-1 in Tampa Bay after suffering lower-body injuries and are likely out against the Panthers.

Interim coach Ted Nolan said the Sabres probably wouldn’t summon anyone because winger Cory Conacher, a waiver acquisition, was set to join the club and they have ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart left Thursday's win late. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons and Chris Stewart out against Panthers

The Buffalo Sabres will be missing two forwards for tonight’s game in Florida against the Panthers, interim coach Ted Nolan told reporters in Tampa Bay.

Center Zemgus Girgensons and winger Chris Stewart both left Thursday’s 3-1 win against the Lightning with lower-body injuries.

Stewart appeared to injure his right leg when he collided with Lightning goalie Anders Lindback chasing down the puck for a breakaway late in the game.

The Sabres likely won’t need to ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson played less than one season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rebuilding Sabres busy at trade deadline, not done overhauling roster

BUFFALO – Tim Murray said he began his first NHL trade deadline day as a general manager with no expectations, unsure which direction the rebuilding Sabres might go.

By the end Wednesday, Murray had made three notable deals, trading familiar names like Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick and Brayden McNabb while acquiring NHL talent and prospects. He also grabbed Canisius product Cory Conacher off waivers.

Murray, who sent franchise goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve ... Read the full article