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

Ryan O'Reilly buoyed the Sabres late Friday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan O’Reilly helps push Sabres past Red Wings in OT

BUFFALO – With just over four minutes left in regulation Friday and the Sabres trailing 2-1, Ryan O’Reilly zoomed down the right wall hellbent on grabbing the puck from Danny DeKeyser deep in the Detroit zone.

O’Reilly eventually twisted DeKeyser around, grabbed the puck and skated behind the net, where he zeroed in on linemate Kyle Okposo in front.

But the rest of the Red Wings hadn’t caught up, so a surprised O’Reilly skated out ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers has zero points in 22 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers seeing less action

BUFFALO – Chat with Nick Deslauriers for a few minutes, and if the subject turns to fighting, the affable Sabres winger usually perks up.

Deslauriers, 25, relishes his job as the Sabres’ chief protector. In his 196-game NHL career, he has 15 fights and 12 goals.

“That’s what I want to bring, just safety for all the guys that are on the ice with me,” Deslauriers said Friday prior to being scratched for the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Evander Kane broke four ribs opening night. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane one of NHL’s hottest scorers

BUFFALO – Looking back, Sabres winger Evander Kane acknowledges that, yes, he probably rushed back to the lineup after breaking four ribs opening night.

Following an 11-game absence over three weeks, Kane returned and generated almost nothing. Seven weeks ago, he was one of the NHL’s biggest disappointments, still goalless in 12 appearances as the calendar turned to December.

But these days, Kane is scorching, having scored 12 times in the last 21 games ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly missed time with an abdomenal injury earlier this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly out indefinitely after appendectomy

The reeling, last-place Buffalo Sabres will be without Ryan O’Reilly indefinitely after the center underwent an emergency appendectomy over the three-day Christmas break, the team announced this morning.

Update: Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told reporters in Detroit O’Reilly could miss two to three weeks.

The absence of O’Reilly, the Sabres’ top all-around forward and lone NHL All-Star last season, could doom a team dangerously close to falling out of the playoff hunt. The Sabres have ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander starred for Team Sweden last year. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander faces high expectations with Sweden

ROCHESTER – A year ago, Buffalo Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander wowed as a 17-year-old at the World Junior Championship, showcasing his dynamic skills while leading Team Sweden with four goals and nine points in seven games.

So naturally, the expectations this year for Nylander, a youngster many believe was the most talented player in the 2016 NHL Draft, are extremely high.

Not only is Nylander a year older, the eighth overall pick has spent the ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner (40) watches the puck Wednesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose to Red Wings in shootout, miss chance to reach .500

BUFFALO – Coach Dan Bylsma heard the words – his Sabres had just missed a chance to hit .500 – and banged the podium out of frustration before a reporter could finish his question.

In a season full of close losses, Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout setback to the Detroit Red Wings might’ve hurt the most. The Sabres couldn’t convert several prime scoring chances throughout the night, including a few in overtime.

The 7-8-5 Sabres, a team ... Read the full article

Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek are back together in Detroit. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres Steve Ott, Thomas Vanek happy with Red Wings

BUFFALO – Barely three years ago, Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek co-captained the Sabres through one of the roughest months in franchise history, October 2013, before leaving town.

Vanek, who detested the team’s rebuild, went first, getting dished to the New York Islanders just weeks into the season. The Sabres traded Ott, who wanted to stay, to the St. Louis Blues months later.

These days, they’re two newcomers charged with helping the Detroit ... Read the full article

The Sabres have missed Jack Eichel. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel skates, has return date in mind

BUFFALO – A week ago, Sabres center Jack Eichel said he circled a date on his calendar he would like to return from the high left ankle sprain that has sidelined him six weeks.

“But that’s pretty fragile and can change pretty quickly,” Eichel told a throng of reporters after skating with his teammates this morning, his first session since injuring his ankle Oct. 12, the day before the season opener.

Eichel, of course, ... Read the full article