Evander Kane (9) keeps the puck away from Colorado's Carl Soderberg on Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres buckle down, beat Avalanche

BUFFALO – At times, Thursday’s 2-0 win probably felt a bit unsettling for the Sabres. The woeful Colorado Avalanche, the NHL’s worst team, isn’t just bad.

The club’s on pace to be one of the worst this century.

So it was hardly surprising the Sabres mostly had their way with the Avalanche. Still, after two periods, they had a 21-11 shot advantage but only a 1-0 lead thanks to Sam Reinhart’s power-play goal.

Colorado, which ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers (44) fights Jared Boll last Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres heavyweight Nick Deslauriers wants to fight

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers can’t hide the disappointment in his voice discussing his difficulty finding fight partners this season.

The Sabres’ top heavyweight has only fought three times in 29 appearances entering tonight’s tilt against the hapless Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center.

“I’ve been trying to get some,” Deslauriers said Saturday in Toronto. “I haven’t got that many fights.”

Deslauriers, 25, didn’t fight until Jan. 10, his 19th game after a knee injury ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues grew up cheering for the Maple Leafs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Toronto debut special for Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues

TORONTO – Growing up in Etobicoke, about a 20-minute drive from the Air Canada Centre, Alexander Mogilny’s talents mesmerized Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues.

By the early 2000s, long after his dynamic 76-goal season with the Sabres in 1992-93, Mogilny was still an electrifying presence for some strong Maple Leafs teams.

“He was always trying something new,” Rodrigues said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 win against the Leafs. “He always made some real ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Evan Rodrigues' fifth NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Evan Rodrigues again; Cody Franson out 2-3 weeks

TORONTO – This afternoon, hours before his fifth NHL game, Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues couldn’t stop smiling.

“He’s always all smiles,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said inside the Air Canada Centre.

True, Rodrigues, 23, always seems to be grinning. But tonight’s tilt, which will be broadcast across Canada on “Hockey Night in Canada,” is extra special for Rodrigues, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Etobicoke, about 20 minutes from Toronto.

“It’s going ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is upended as he attempts to drive between Toronto’s Roman Polak (46) and goalie Frederik Andersen on Jan. 17. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane questionable; Derek Grant, Evan Rodrigues recalled

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Evander Kane joked he crashed into his “favorite wall” after scoring the overtime winner in Tuesday’s 5-4 thriller against San Jose.

After his 16th goal secured the Sabres’ most unlikely victory this season, Kane hit the boards hard behind the net, his face and his right hand taking most of the impact.

Kane, who’s questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, also broke four ribs crashing into those same boards ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno skates out after celebrating his goal Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marcus Foligno utilizing talents beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Considering Marcus Foligno just scored his first goal in 11 games, his target number might seem a little high. After all, the Sabres winger endured an offensive drought following a promotion to a scoring line beside slick center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.

But Foligno, who has nine goals, one short of his career high set last season, wants to score 15 times this campaign.

“With 31 games left, it’s doable, very ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner (40) makes a save on Ottawa's Kyle Turris on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner shuts out Senators

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner, of course, always downplays it. Still, it’s hardly a secret the Sabres goalie loves facing his former team, the Ottawa Senators.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma has mentioned the twinkle Lehner gets in his eye. And the Swede’s statistics against the Senators illustrate the tilts mean a little more.

Clearly, Lehner, who was traded to the Sabres for a first-round pick in 2015, wants to prove the Senators made a ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson tries to stop the New York Rangers' Chris Kreider on Dec. 1. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres feeling comfortable at home

BUFFALO – Very quietly, after years of ineptitude on home ice, the Sabres have recently morphed into a strong team at KeyBank Center, winning four straight games.

Of course, four consecutive home victories isn’t overly impressive. But for the Sabres, who haven’t finished above .500 at home since 2012-13, the streak represents progress.

It also gives them some hope. With each loss, their slim playoff chances decrease. But tonight’s tilt against the New York Rangers ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis (63) tries to check Montreal's Alexander Radulov on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have chance to rebound at home

BUFFALO – Flush it. Forget about it. Just get rid of it.

“Obviously, last night’s game we have to throw out the window because it was horrendous,” winger Marcus Foligno said about Tuesday’s wretched 5-2 road loss to the Montreal Canadiens, arguably the Sabres’ worst setback all season.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma added: “We got beat badly.”

No kidding. The Canadiens led 5-0 before the Sabres scored two late goals. The game, by any measure, ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has missed 30 games following groin surgery. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know they must develop consistency

BUFFALO – When goalie Robin Lehner spent a few days at home recovering from the flu last week, the young veteran developed a different perspective on the Sabres’ struggles watching two road losses from his couch.

“Playing the game or being on the bench, it’s one thing,” Lehner said Sunday inside KeyBank Center. “But when you sit down on the couch and you turn on the TV, you kind of get a little perspective on ... Read the full article