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Ennis

Snow has been falling around Buffalo constantly. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – It was business as usual early Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. Following a day off, the Sabres practiced in anticipation of playing the New York Rangers tonight. Only snowed-in winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s stuck in Hamburg, was missing. Coach Ted Nolan discussed his lineup.

But miles away, Winter Storm Knife was battering Buffalo’s Southtowns again, pouring more snow on an area already devastated by one of the biggest storms in this area’s history.

At about 2:30 p.m., the NHL …

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Snow has been falling around Buffalo for days. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – With Winter Storm Knife still decimating much of the area surrounding Buffalo, the NHL announced this afternoon it has postponed Friday’s Sabres-New York Rangers game at the First Niagara Center.

The NHL used the phrase “continuing weather-related difficulties” in the press release.

A makeup date will be announced later.

After taking Wednesday off, the Sabres practiced again today. They operated like the game would be played as scheduled.

Update: According to Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert, a decision on the game had to …

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Brian Gionta had three points Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Outside the First Niagara Center, temperatures dipped into the low 20s and winds gusted up to 30 mph Tuesday. It was bone-chilling cold.

But there was very little snow on the ground downtown. The area immediately around the arena remained navigable all day. So did Buffalo’s Northtowns.

Just miles away, however, an early-season storm was annihilating the Southtowns.

Five feet fell in some areas. There was chaos everywhere. No one could budge.

Still, the Sabres played on, beating the San Jose Sharks …

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Matt Moulson (26) and Zemgus Girgensons (28) are part of the Sabres' first line. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Finally, more than a month into the season, the Sabres’ feeble offense has busted loose, scoring nine goals in the last two outings, including a season-high six in Saturday’s annihilation of Toronto.

About time, right?

The NHL’s weakest attack scored 19 goals in the first 17 games, so the last two contests have accounted for 32 percent of the Sabres’ offense this season.

Incredible.

The Sabres are scoring at a shocking 120-goal pace. That would be 30 fewer goals than last season, …

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Brian Flynn steals the puck from Toronto goalie James Reimer on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For one night at least, the First Niagara Center felt like the old days. A raucous capacity crowd of 19,070 fans roared from start to finish Saturday. The Sabres buzzed up and down the ice all night against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring goals and creating chance after chance.

The Sabres’ rollicking 6-2 win, just their second regulation triumph this season and first at home, was wildly entertaining, high-octane hockey.

Up in the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, legendary …

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Tyler Ennis had a goal and three points Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis still remembers every little detail of Nov. 14, 2009, the day the slick Sabres winger made his NHL debut.

When Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen told Ennis the Sabres could recall him for a game in Philadelphia that night, the youngster left the rink – “It was like a 30-minute drive,” he said – and went home.

He needed to eat, so he “picked up a quick Subway sandwich.”

Ennis then packed. Dineen called and said the Sabres needed …

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Tyler Ennis played one season in Portland. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis still remembers every little detail of Nov. 14, 2009, the day the slick Sabres winger made his NHL debut.

When Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen told Ennis the Sabres could recall him for a game in Philadelphia that night, the youngster left the rink – “It was like a 30-minute drive,” he said – and went home.

He needed to eat, so he “picked up a quick Subway sandwich.”

Ennis then packed. Dineen called and said the Sabres needed …

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Drew Stafford has a team-high 10 points. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Drew Stafford figured what the heck, he had nothing to lose by offering his services at center. The Sabres winger had played the position in high school.

So Stafford recently told coach Ted Nolan he would move if the reeling Sabres wanted to experiment.

“I wanted to let him know I’m comfortable with whatever he throws at myself or whoever I end up with,” Stafford said Friday inside the First Niagara Center. “I want him to know I want to …

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Nikita Zadorov has fought six times in North America. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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In 141 total games between the Ontario Hockey League and NHL, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov has fought six times, according to hockeyfights.com.

Expect that number to go up.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Russian is cocky and loves to hit. He will have to answer the bell.

Zadorov fought St. Louis’ Ian Cole on Tuesday, his first NHL scrap. The 19-year-old paid back Cole when the defenseman hit the diminutive Tyler Ennis after the whistle.

Is Zadorov a good fighter? Decide for yourself.

Here are the …

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Rasmus Ristolainen practices Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – When you’re struggling and searching for anything to ignite the team, you experiment. So with nothing to lose, Sabres coach Ted Nolan paired Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and rookie Nikita Zadorov, 19, together last game.

The defensemen became the Sabres’ top tandem in Saturday’s ugly 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh, each skating more than 20 minutes, more than Tyler Myers. Zadorov wasn’t on the ice for any goals against.

“If you look at both of them, one’s more on the defensive side …

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