Mike Weber knows Buffalo will love Rasmus Dahlin. ©2018, Hickling Images

Mike Weber knows Rasmus Dahlin will be special player for Sabres

Prior to Mike Weber’s short stint overseas, the former Buffalo Sabres defenseman watched some highlights of a 17-year-old phenom he would be joining with Frolunda HC, a Swedish Hockey League team.

The whiz kid’s name? Rasmus Dahlin, the ultra-gifted defenseman the Sabres will select first overall after winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery.... Read the full article

Matt Donovan spent all last season in the NHL but only played 12 games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Matt Donovan hopes regular duty with Amerks helps earn recall to Sabres

ROCHESTER – It’s easy to forget, but almost four months ago, Matt Donovan made the Buffalo Sabres’ roster out of training camp and briefly stayed as the eighth defenseman.

After sitting out three games as a healthy scratch, the Sabres sent Donovan, 25, to the AHL, where he has quietly resumed a career that stalled last season with the New York Islanders.

Sure, getting demoted to the Americans was disappointing. But simply having an opportunity ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has been playing big minutes. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen developing into Sabres’ top defenseman

BUFFALO – Just a week ago, it appeared the Sabres would be forced to utilize a blue line by committee early on. Without a proven No. 1 defenseman to gobble up minutes, coach Dan Bylsma had to spread the ice time out evenly, right?

Well, just three games into the season, Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, has quickly emerged as the club’s ace defenseman.

“(He’s) playing in all situations for us, playing against other teams’ best ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian was injured early in training camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta questionable for Thursday; Zach Bogosian practices

BUFFALO – Some quick updates from HarborCenter, where the Sabres practiced about an hour before catching a flight for their two-game Florida road trip:

– Captain Brian Gionta, out the first three games with a lower-body injury, skated this morning beside center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. He’s questionable for Thursday’s tilt against the Florida Panthers.

Gionta practiced Sunday but sat out the Sabres’ 4-2 win Monday afternoon.

“It’s one of those things, if you’re ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly scores his first goal Monday afternoon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly responds to move to left wing

BUFFALO – Three games into the season, Ryan O’Reilly, the shiny acquisition the Sabres recently awarded a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension and touted as their No. 1 center, has already been shifted to the left wing.

In an attempt to ignite his struggling top line Monday afternoon, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma moved Zemgus Girgensons to center between O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis for the Sabres’ 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets inside the ... Read the full article

The Sabres recalled Jake McCabe this morning. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jake McCabe to make season debut for Sabres

BUFFALO – Seven defensemen will take the pregame warm-up this afternoon for the Sabres, coach Dan Bylsma said. Which one will sit against the Columbus Blue Jackets? He wouldn’t say.

Bylsma, however, said Jake McCabe will make his season debut. The Sabres summoned the defenseman, who turns 22 years old today, from the Rochester Americans this morning.

Update: Carlo Colaiacovo, a minus-3 this season, will sit. So will Matt Donovoan, who skated in the ... Read the full article

Evan Kane (9) has mostly played with Jack Eichel (15). ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma constantly tinkering with lines

BUFFALO – After some fourth-line duty in the season opener, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma rewarded Jamie McGinn with a plum assignment as the right winger beside rookie center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane early Saturday afternoon.

McGinn, however, didn’t last long on the second line.

Bylsma moved Marcus Foligno up beside Eichel early. Zemgus Girgensons, who practiced with Eichel on Friday, also received some time. So did Tyler Ennis and Sam Reinhart. Then McGinn went ... Read the full article

Nathan Lieuwen impressed the Sabres in the preseason. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall goalie Nathan Lieuwen; Linus Ullmark to start for Amerks

BUFFALO – With No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner injured, the Sabres have recalled Nathan Lieuwen, 24, from Rochester to back up starter Chad Johnson this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“He won the opportunity with his play in training camp,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said about Lieuwen, who played two preseason games.

Johnson could receive most of the action in the coming days, but the Sabres might use some of their young goalies, too, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has never played more than 27 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres confident in goalie Chad Johnson

BUFFALO – Considering Chad Johnson is the only healthy goalie on the roster, it can be assumed the backup will start this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

“Let’s go with that,” Bylsma said sarcastically Friday.

Goaltending was arguably the Sabres’ biggest question mark before new starter Robin Lehner suffered a lower-body injury about halfway through the season opener Thursday.

Now, the Sabres might be forced to lean heavily on ... Read the full article

Carlo Colaiacovo wants the Sabres to trust every defender. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres plan to use defense by committee

BUFFALO – With zero stars, minute-munchers or big scorers on their blue line right now, the Sabres plan to utilize a defense by committee early this season.

So expect to see ice time spread out evenly. Trying to distinguish between the first and third pairs might be tough.

“We’re going to rely on all six guys,” defenseman Josh Gorges said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. “Some nights you’re going ... Read the full article