Jamie McGinn backhands the puck between his legs and past Los Angeles goalie Jhonas Enroth on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan O’Reilly’s overtime winner clinches Sabres’ win over Kings

BUFFALO – Usually, Ryan O’Reilly said, if he gets an open look in the slot, he likes to shoot low blocker side on the goalie. But given the Sabres center was falling in front of sliding defender Alec Martinez, he just had to take the best shot he could in overtime.

“I just tried to get it off in that area,” O’Reilly said Saturday after his 100th NHL goal – a nifty score at ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark is 0-4-2 in his last six starts. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark believes struggles are mental

BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark’s struggles are “mostly mental things,” the Swede said this morning. In his last six starts, the rookie is 0-4-2 and has allowed 18 goals. In his last three starts, his save percentage is .859.

Remember, Ullmark, who will start tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, dazzled early on, winning four of his first six starts.

“We know that my game works,” Ullmark said inside the First ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) keeps the puck away from Arizona's Stefan Elliott on Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane finally scoring

BUFFALO – Realistically, having scored six times in 16 games this season, Sabres winger Evander Kane likely won’t hit his lofty preseason target of 40 or 50 goals.

Scoring once in his first 11 appearances and missing 10 contests with an MCL injury certainly didn’t help.

But that disappointing start has recently become an afterthought, as Kane’s one of the NHL’s hottest scorers as the Sabres start a three-game Canadian road trip tonight against the ... Read the full article

Evander Kane scored twice Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ offense explodes in win over Coyotes

BUFFALO – First, Sam Reinhart utilized his soft hands around the net Friday. Jamie McGinn followed with a wicked one-timer off a perfect feed from Jack Eichel. Evander Kane scored later on a short-handed breakaway.

Not only are the Sabres finally scoring goals these days, they’re generating pretty ones, a sure sign the offense is humming for the first time all season.

The Sabres’ third win in four games, an exciting 5-2 victory against the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen was all over the ice Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen developing into star

BUFFALO – No one could believe the number that has been attached to Rasmus Ristolainen’s stat line all season: zero.

In 606 minutes, 12 seconds on the ice spread over 25 games – that’s a team-high 24 minutes, 14 seconds a contest – the Sabres’ ace defenseman hasn’t taken a penalty.

“Zero?” Josh Gorges, Ristolainen’s defense partner, asked incredulously Thursday before saying he was “impressed” and “surprised.”

When informed Ristolainen has zero penalty minutes, ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta scored his second goal this season Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel and Brian Gionta help Sabres down Hurricanes

BUFFALO – Shortly before Jack Eichel’s nifty winning goal in the Sabres’ 4-1 win Friday, the rookie took an ill-advised skate from his own blue line back toward the net and into danger.

Eichel, 19, coughed up the puck to the Carolina Hurricanes, leading to Zach Bogosian’s interference penalty.

But the Sabres, who ended their six-game losing streak, can live with the occasional mistake from Eichel because, just 23 games into his career, the center ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) stickhandles Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres playing well in losses, need to score more goals

BUFFALO – They’re different this year. Unlike the last two seasons, the Sabres rarely get pummeled in their losses. They stay in contests and often outplay their opponents. That’s why the six-game losing streak they carry into tonight’s home tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes feels a bit odd.

Sure, the Sabres have only led for eight minutes, 22 seconds during the skid. That happens when you’ve scored just seven times.

But they’ve been in every ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno flips over Nashville goalie Carter Hutton on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start fast against Predators, lose sixth straight

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, against a reeling team that hadn’t scored a goal in more than three games, the Sabres pounced on the Nashville Predators early.

The Sabres held an 11-4 shot advantage after one period and widened it to 25-11 after two inside the First Niagara Center.

Still, it didn’t matter.

The Sabres trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-1 after 40 in their 3-2 loss to the Predators. After winning three consecutive ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hasn't scored a goal in six games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Slumping Sabres rookie Jack Eichel ‘not happy’ with own game

BUFFALO – It happens almost every game. Inevitably, at least two or three times, Sabres center Jack Eichel utilizes his supreme speed and other dynamic talents to create scoring chances almost out of thin air.

Still, despite all the flash the rookie has consistently showcased, “He’s not finding the back of the net,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

Eichel, who has six goals and 10 points in his first 21 NHL appearances, might be enduring ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) has six goals this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Improved Sabres have long ways to go

BUFFALO – Realistically, one quarter into the season, seventh in the stacked Atlantic Division is a place many envisioned the Sabres would be at climbing out of their rebuild.

The 8-10-2 Sabres, as their current four-game losing streak (0-2-2) illustrates, are still a raw work in progress. They’ve already endured a string of ups and downs – a disappointing 2-6 start, a significant 6-2 run to reach .500 and injuries to defenseman Zach Bogosian and ... Read the full article