Jack Eichel (15) is greeted by teammates after scoring Monday afternoon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel’s nifty goal helps Sabres beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma knows Jack Eichel’s second NHL goal, a scintillating wrist shot from the left circle the rookie center created with some dogged determination and slick moves, will be replayed over and over again.

Three games into his career, Eichel, 18, has already scored a phenomenal goal.

Get used to seeing every last part of it.

“You will see that goal again,” Bylsma said Monday following the Sabres’ 4-2 win against ... Read the full article

Nathan Lieuwen enjoyed a strong training camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have goaltending options with Robin Lehner out 6-10 weeks

BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday.

“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said inside the First Niagara Center.

So Lehner, who has been wheeling around the rink on a cart with his No. 40 and a Sabres logo, could possibly ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner was injured Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner out 6-10 weeks with high ankle sprain

BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

Lehner injured his right ankle almost halfway through Thursday’s season opener, his Sabres debut.

“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said following practice.

Check back for more later on Lehner, who has been wheeling ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) battles Tampa Bay's Jonathan Drouin for the puck Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose to Lightning, fall to 0-2

BUFFALO – The eye test shows the Sabres have already improved this season. The games are cleaner and more exciting. They often operate as a cohesive unit and carry the play.

Still, the Sabres, who added a new coaching staff and about 10 players during a wild offseason, are a work in progress.

A 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning before 17,739 fans Saturday afternoon inside the First Niagara Center dropped them to 0-2. ... 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

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

Jack Eichel celebrates his first NHL goal. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel scores in NHL debut

BUFFALO – For the first two periods of his NHL debut, Jack Eichel blended in among the other 10 skaters on the ice. The slick Sabres center looked like, well, a rookie playing against superior competition.

Then suddenly, like he somehow matured over a brief intermission, Eichel, 18, morphed into the best player on the ice late in the Sabres’ 3-1 opening-night loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

“You didn’t see him skate in ... 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

Robin Lehner struggled during the preseason. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner knows he’s a question mark

BUFFALO – As a Swedish import, Sabres newcomer Robin Lehner isn’t a big football fan. But after arriving here in August, the goalie started following the Buffalo Bills a little bit.

“A lot of people talk about their defense and how good their defense and stuff are, but people start questioning the quarterback a little bit,” Lehner said this morning prior to the season opener. “I feel like I’m a little bit in the same ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel prefers to talk about the team instead of himself. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel just one big piece for Sabres

BUFFALO – Rookie Jack Eichel felt the anticipation building for his NHL debut long before the Sabres drafted him second overall 104 days ago. The center knows the excited Buffalo fans see him as the future of the franchise.

But to Eichel, 18, the new chapter the revamped Sabres will begin tonight against the Ottawa Senators, the so-called “Eichel Era,” is about much more than one player.

“We have a pretty young team,” Eichel said ... Read the full article