Dmitry Kulikov scores his second goal this season Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov turns corner

BUFFALO – To Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, the worst appears to be behind defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who has struggled throughout an injured-plagued season.

Fresh off a nine-game absence, Kulikov enjoyed his finest outing all season in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Toronto, scoring a power-play goal and feeding Jack Eichel for another score on the man advantage.

But before Kulikov returned from an upper-body injury, Bylsma could tell the Russian, who has battled a ... Read the full article

Evander Kane celebrates his first-period goal Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres silence Toronto fans, beat Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – The 11,000 or so Toronto Maple Leafs fans who invaded a packed KeyBank Center on Saturday – they greatly outnumbered the home portion – started making their presence known about 20 minutes before the opening faceoff of the Sabres’ entertaining 5-2 win.

This visit from the upstart Leafs was different than recent ones throughout their sorry run of futility. For the first time in a long time, Toronto is good, filled with prime ... Read the full article

Cody Franson (6) battles Arizona's Shane Doan on March 2. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must recall defensemen from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres, down a whopping four defensemen, plan to recall two from the Rochester Americans for Monday’s road tilt in Detroit, coach Dan Bylsma said.

They practiced with only four healthy defenders this morning inside HarborCenter.

Not exactly ideal, huh?

Defensemen Taylor Fedun (foot) and Cody Franson (unspecified) were injured in Friday’s 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim. Justin Falk (bruised calf, two games) and Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, seven games) are also hurt.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel is a young star the NHL apparently wants on the national stage. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres to face Rangers in New York Winter Classic

BUFFALO – The Sabres will likely play the New York Rangers outdoors in the 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field, according to Newsday.

The game, scheduled for New Year’s Day, has never taken place in the New York City area.

The Sabres, of course, hosted the first Winter Classic in 2008 at what is now called New Era Field. The game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-1 shootout loss, was a rousing success and ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) tries to stuff the puck past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back from early deficit, beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – As if the season-killing streak the Sabres have recently endured wasn’t bad enough, it looked like they might hit rock bottom again Saturday.

Early on, the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets simply outclassed the Sabres, opening a 3-0 first-period lead.

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, so good at home this season, performed terribly for 20 minutes. Defenseman Jake McCabe, one of the steadiest Sabres all season, struggled through perhaps the worst period of ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey has played 19 straight games. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Bailey has opportunity to stay

BUFFALO – Right now, thanks to his torrid goal-scoring run in the AHL and some injuries with the big club, Sabres winger Justin Bailey has the best opportunity of his young career to stick in the NHL for good.

For the last five weeks, the speedy Bailey, 21, has enjoyed regular duty, playing 19 straight games. Some contests the Williamsville native has skated on a top line.

“It’s a really big one,” Sabres coach Dan ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had two goals and three points Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel responds to benching

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said he implores slick center Jack Eichel to have five turnovers a game.

Wait, what? Bylsma really wants the second-year star to give away the puck?

“If he’s not having a turnover, then he’s not trying to do the right thing,” Bylsma explained this afternoon inside HarborCenter. “There’s a time and a place and a situation for those attempts.”

Turnovers, of course, are common. Bylsma said he expects ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (center), Jake McCabe and Evander Kane didn't celebrate much after Eichel's second goal. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Flyers throttle Sabres: ‘We weren’t ready to play’

BUFFALO – It’s happening. Less than two years into his career, center Jack Eichel, the ultra-talented youngster the Sabres gave up an entire season to draft, is morphing into an offensive superstar.

Eichel, 20, is on fire. Since Feb. 1, Eichel leads the NHL with 24 points. With two goals and three more points Tuesday, he extended his career-long point streak to 11 games. The youngster now has 101 NHL points in just 127 ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner will make his 47th start tonight. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres try to rebound from ’emotional hit’ against Flyers

BUFFALO – For a seventh-place team, the Sabres have showcased a lot of resiliency this season, rebounding from tough losses with some notable victories against the NHL’s top clubs.

Fresh off Sunday’s demoralizing 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh, a game in which they blew a three-goal lead, the Sabres have another opportunity tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center.

“It’s going to be the tale of the game, is us rebounding from the emotional ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (29) knows a few more wins would have the Sabres in the thick of the playoff race. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres still learning to win

BUFFALO – In what has become another disappointing season destined to end without a playoff appearance, the Sabres have endured 39 defeats. A few have been blowouts, but the club has usually been highly competitive, losing 20 one-goal affairs.

The Sabres have taken leads deep into games before melting down, losing seven contests in which they were up entering the third period.

Want a telltale sign of a team learning how to win? Try an ... Read the full article