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Ennis

Dan Bylsma will coach his 500th NHL game tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – When did we see this type of stretch from the Sabres – lots of dull, tight games they inevitably lose – before?

About three weeks ago, shortly after the season started, when they dropped four straight contests. After a brief turnaround, the Sabres are experiencing a similarly dreadful run entering tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the start of a four-game home stand at KeyBank Center.

Having lost five straight games (0-3-2), the Sabres are reeling, in danger of …

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Ryan O'Reilly has missed two games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, out the last two games with a “mid-body” injury, is questionable for Thursday’s home tilt against Tampa Bay, coach Dan Bylsma said.

O’Reilly, who’s day-to-day, skated this morning on his own and is “progressing,” Bylsma said.

The Sabres held a team meeting today instead of practicing following Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in St. Louis, their fifth straight setback (0-3-2).

The 5-7-4 Sabres have six one-goal losses. In some of the other losses, including Tuesday’s, a contest the …

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Derek Grant has been strong in the faceoff circle. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Derek Grant’s rather unimpressive stat line – zero goals and just one assist through 14 games – doesn’t tell the whole story. At first glance, it appears the Sabres’ fourth-line center has endured a rough month.

After all, Grant, 26, was the Sabres’ best player throughout training camp, helping him vault from a depth player likely ticketed for the AHL into regular NHL duty.

“He adds more to our team than scoring goals,” coach Dan Bylsma said Friday prior to …

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Justin Falk spend part of last season in Columbus. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Down one day, up the next. Repeat for six months. For the last three seasons, Sabres newcomer Justin Falk has served as a depth defenseman for three organizations, constantly shuttling between the NHL and AHL.

“Over the last two or three years I’ve hopped back and forth quite a bit,” Falk, 28, said after the Sabres recalled him this morning. “Just another day for me to go about my business. It’s just a different league, a higher-up league.”

With defenseman …

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Tyler Ennis has played 12 games this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tyler Ennis underwent groin surgery this morning and will miss several weeks, the team has announced.

The Sabres’ longest-tenured player missed Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Ottawa with a “mid-body injury,” according to coach Dan Bylsma.

Ennis has battled injuries for the last year. Shortly after recovering from a concussion early last season, he suffered a season-ending concussion Dec. 30.

“It’s disappointing for Tyler, the situation he’s been dealing with the last … maybe week, kind of just extremely …

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Evander Kane misssed 11 games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Cody Franson isn’t concerned. Neither is coach Dan Bylsma.

Thirteen games into the season, the Sabres are the only team without a goal from a defenseman.

“I could care less if I score one goal in a season,” Franson said Wednesday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. “For me, assists, getting pucks there for other guys to score are just as important as how many goals I have.”

Said Bylsma: “Not necessarily concerned that …

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Evander Kane was injured Oct. 13. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For the next little bit, Evander Kane will likely have to endure some pain on the ice. The Sabres winger, out since breaking four ribs Oct. 13, hasn’t quite healed 100 percent.

“I don’t think anything is really healed kind of right when I get back, but it’s healed enough to where I can play and come back,” said Kane, who will return tonight against the Ottawa Senators. “I’m sure there’ll be a little bit of pain throughout the …

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Sabres goalie Robin Lehner stops Toronto's Leo Komarov on Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – With just under 12 minutes left and Toronto clinging to a one-goal lead, the Sabres, as they consistently did throughout Thursday’s 2-1 loss, pumped a string of shots on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen in close.

After Andersen denied Sam Reinhart, Tyler Ennis backhanded a shot on net, grabbed his own rebound and released a quick wrist shot through traffic from the slot.

When Andersen’s quick left glove hand snared the puck, Ennis, who rarely showcases much emotion, looked up …

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Sam Reinhart smiles after scoring Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As the seven-game mark approached, Sabres forward Sam Reinhart figured after all his missed opportunities, his first goal would be fluky.

“The way the year has been going, that’s the way the first one had to go in, because the chances have been there,” Reinhart said after scoring a power-play goal late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center.

Sure enough, 8:48 into the third period, Reinhart tried to find Kyle Okposo from behind the …

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Mark Pysyk was a first-round pick in 2010. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Being back here felt “weird,” Mark Pysyk, clad in Florida Panthers workout gear, said Saturday morning as he took a break from preparing for his first game as a visitor at KeyBank Center.

Pysyk, 24, grew up with the Sabres, developing from a first-round pick in 2010 into an NHL defenseman.

“The last six years I’ve been coming here for … everything,” Pysyk said prior to the Sabres’ 3-0 win against the Panthers.

The Edmonton native, who played 125 games with …

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