The Eichel Era

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Foligno

Dan Catenacci has played three seasons in the AHL. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In his first three AHL seasons, Sabres winger Dan Catenacci has developed what he believes is a strong relationship with his coaches. So the youngster was shocked when Randy Cunneyworth summoned him to his office Friday and the entire Rochester Americans’ staff began berating him.

What was the beef? Something Catenacci called a “nothing play” in the previous game.

“They started yelling at me,” he said Monday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

An “angry” Cunneyworth eventually ordered Catenacci to …

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Marcus Foligno has missed one game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno, who said a deep-tissue bruise kept him out of Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss in Boston, practiced today and could play Tuesday against Florida.

“We’ll see how tomorrow is,” Foligno said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Right now, it’s just a pain tolerance. That’s all I can really say. Nothing really major, but it was just a (lower-body) tweak.”

Foligno, who said he had a jammed into him late Thursday, briefly left today’s session before …

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Dan Catenacci has never played an NHL game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during his last shift in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will likely miss tonight’s rematch in Boston, coach Dan Bylsma said.

To replace Foligno, the Sabres recalled forward Dan Catenacci from the Rochester Americans on Friday. Catenacci, 22, could make his NHL debut tonight.

Foligno’s day-to-day, Bylsma said Friday following the Sabres’ optional practice inside HarborCenter.

“I don’t anticipate it will be week-to-week,” he said.

Catenacci has often been one of …

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Marcus Foligno (82) was injured Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during his last shift in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will likely miss Saturday’s rematch in Boston, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Foligno’s day-to-day, Bylsma said this afternoon following the Sabres’ optional practice inside HarborCenter.

“I don’t anticipate it will be week-to-week,” he said.

The Sabres will recall a forward from the Rochester Americans, Bylsma said. He wouldn’t reveal which one.

Update: The Sabres have made a surprising recall, summoning forward Dan …

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Johan Larsson has only two goals this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early in the Sabres’ 4-2 comeback win Wednesday in Montreal, for one of the few times this season, center Johan Larsson drove to the net with authority and narrowly missed scoring just his second goal.

With 8:14 left in the contest, the Swede skated to the crease again and was rewarded with his first score in 20 games, the winner against the Canadiens.

For Larsson, 23, it was his best performance in what has mostly been a colossally disappointing season.

“No …

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Zemgus Girgensons struggled offensively earlier this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Barely a minute into the third period last Tuesday, Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons roared down the left side into the Ottawa zone before stopping and lifting a saucer pass to center Jack Eichel, who was zooming to the net down the middle.

The rookie connected, got stymied by Senators goalie Craig Anderson but managed to tuck the loose puck in for the winner in the Sabres’ 3-2 comeback victory.

The slick score, the duo’s fourth goal and sixth point in …

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Josh Gorges (4) has been battling an upper-body injury. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In reality, it’s a good problem. With Josh Gorges ready to play, the Sabres have eight healthy defensemen. Given the rough-and-tumble nature of the position, bodies are always at a premium, especially at this time of year.

Still, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t like it much. He’s already had to mothball defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who has played one game since Dec. 7. Now someone else must sit.

What will the Sabres do? Could a move be coming?

“I expect to see …

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Marcus Foligno believes the Sabres can make a late run. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Instead of jetting away for a quick vacation during the NHL All-Star break, Dan Bylsma stayed close to home and enjoyed a rare breather from the arduous six-month season. The Sabres coach still watched some AHL games in Rochester, but he mostly relaxed and spent a little time fishing.

After getting “muddied out” of one trip, Bylsma caught 15 steelhead at an undisclosed location.

“We had a very good day of steelhead fishing,” Bylsma said Monday after the Sabres assembled …

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Robin Lehner made 42 saves Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – So far, three games into Robin Lehner’s return, the Swede has looked every bit like the No. 1 the Sabres envisioned when they dished a first-round pick for the unproven goalie.

After missing more than three months, Lehner has performed splendidly, stopping 85 of the 92 shots he has faced, including 42 on Friday in the Sabres’ ugly 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

At this point, 48 games and 29 defeats into another lost season, the 29th-ranked Sabres …

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Tim Schaller scores his first-period short-handed goal Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Count the Sabres’ exciting 4-1 shellacking of the high-powered Washington Capitals on Saturday as perhaps the most impressive victory felt in these parts in years.

The 29th-ranked Sabres ended a five-game home losing streak while manhandling the league-leading Capitals, who roared into the First Niagara Center having won five straight contests and 14 of the last 16.

This one was never in doubt and had a little bit of everything. First-period goals from Phil Varone and Tim Schaller, two recent …

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