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Archive:
Enroth

Sam Reinhart has played five NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres will scratch top prospect Sam Reinhart for the first time tonight against the Boston Bruins.

It wasn’t hard to see this move coming. The slick center, the No. 2 pick in June, has been skating limited minutes on the fourth line. Reinhart played only seven minutes, nine seconds in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Florida.

The 18-year-old has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach …

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Florida's Dmitry Kulikov (7) chases the Sabres' Zemgus Girsgensons on Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Fresh off their first win this season, against the winless Florida Panthers, the hapless Sabres imploded again early Friday, allowing a team with three goals all season to dominate them.

The Panthers outshot the Sabres 16-3 during a wretched first period. The Sabres finally put their first even-strength shot on goalie Roberto Luongo at about the 16-minute mark.

The Sabres, thanks to Jhonas Enroth’s strong goaltending, escaped the opening 20 minutes tied. But Sean Bergenheim scored 3:01 into the second …

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Sam Reinhart was selected No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Naturally, Sabres center Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, wants to play against Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the No. 1 pick, tonight.

The prospects don’t have much of a rivalry, though.

“Not the fact the fact that we’re one and two, it’s the fact that I know him very well,” Reinhart said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re pretty good friends.”

The two once roomed together at a Team Canada event. They also got to know …

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Michal Neuvirth had a rough preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres will make one lineup change for this afternoon’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, but it won’t be on defense.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan said goalie Michal Neuvirth, who endured an awful preseason, will make his first start this season. The Sabres also play Tuesday in Carolina, so Jhonas Enroth needs some rest.

“Neuvy’s been well-rested,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s got some great work in the last few days. So he should be ready to …

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Zemgus Girgensons, one of the Sabres' few bright spots this season, battles Columbus' David Savard on Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If you’re a glass-is-half-full type, the Sabres have stayed in both of their games until the third period. If you’re a half-empty type, they’re 0-2 and, overall, playing pretty terribly.

The Sabres never lost their first three games in regulation until last season, when they began the worst campaign in franchise history 0-3 and 0-6-1.

Now, they could be 0-3 again. The Anaheim Ducks, who won 31 more games than the Sabres last season, visit the First Niagara Center this …

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Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth stops Columbus' Artem Anisimov on Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – At some point Thursday, as the Columbus Blue Jackets kept peppering shots on him, goalie Jhonas Enroth probably thought the new version of the Sabres looked a lot like the old one.

Like so many times last season, the Sabres performed like an ugly, disjointed mess for stretches, running around in their own zone as their opponent throttled them.

Some nice goaltending from Enroth kept the Sabres in their 44th season opener, but two third-period goals helped the Blue Jackets …

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Ted Nolan coached the first game in the First Niagara Center almost 18 years ago. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Whether you’ve been in the NHL for 50 years or this is your first season, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, “opening night’s always exciting.”

“Butterflies floating around like crazy,” Nolan said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “If it doesn’t happen, something’s going to be wrong.”

Tonight will be extra special for Nolan, who’s beginning his first full season as Sabres coach since 1996-97. He hasn’t coached an NHL team on opening …

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Michal Neuvirth struggled during the preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – So much for that goalie battle between Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth lasting into the regular season.

A strong preseason has already earned Enroth the No. 1 job. Of course, Neuvirth played wretchedly.

Enroth won both exhibition starts, allowing one goal on 58 shots, a .983 save percentage. Neuvirth, meanwhile, lost both appearances, allowing 10 goals on 48 shots, a .828 save percentage.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan noticed “that look he had in his eye” when Enroth reported for training camp. …

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Sam Reinhart (center) celebrates his first preseason goal with Marcus Foligno (82) and Tyson Strachan (24). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Seven minutes, 10 seconds into the third period Wednesday, with the Sabres up four goals against the Washington Capitals, top prospect Sam Reinhart finally found some open ice.

Reinhart, by his own admission, had been pressing this preseason. The savvy 18-year-old couldn’t score or even create opportunities, and it gnawed at him. The hockey IQ fans have heard about so much rarely materialized.

But as Wednesday’s contest dragged on, the center got open in the right circle, grabbed a perfect …

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Mikhail Grigorenko skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two weeks into training camp, center Mikhail Grigorenko remains the Sabres’ biggest surprise. Two more impressive outings could earn the Russian prospect a roster spot.

“He’s been looking really good,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s strong on the puck. He’s been making some really good plays. So the biggest thing right now is keep seeing him do it.”

Grigorenko has two more preseason opportunities, tonight against the Washington Capitals and Friday in …

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