William Carrier practiced with his teammates again Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ William Carrier, Kyle Okposo healed, ready to contribute

BUFFALO – William Carrier couldn’t resist. So before answering a question Thursday, the excited Sabres rookie greeted a crowd of reporters with a short opening statement.

“I’m back, everyone,” a smiling Carrier said inside HarborCenter.

Carrier, sidelined 24 games by a bone bruise in his knee, wasn’t the only injured player back Thursday. Sabres winger Kyle Okposo and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov also returned to practice.

All three are on track to play Saturday at home ... Read the full article

Brady Austin spent three seasons in the AHL before his first NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Brady Austin impressive in first NHL action

BUFFALO – Brady Austin knew his first recall could be imminent. Most minors leaguers, whether they admit it or not, pay attention to the parent club. The defenseman heard about the injuries to the Sabres’ injury-ravaged blue line.

Still, Austin didn’t want to become too excited.

“You don’t want to get your hopes up in case you don’t get the call,” Austin said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins inside ... Read the full article

Brady Austin was a seventh-round pick in 2012. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Brady Austin, Casey Nelson from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres, down four defensemen to injury, recalled Brady Austin and Casey Nelson from the Rochester Americans this morning.

Austin, 23, will almost certainly make his NHL debut in tonight’s road tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, Nelson, 24, has already made 16 appearances with the Sabres.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Austin has two goals, nine points, 36 penalty minutes and a minus-10 rating in 61 games with the Amerks this season, his ... Read the full article

Cody Franson (6) battles Arizona's Shane Doan on March 2. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres must recall defensemen from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres, down a whopping four defensemen, plan to recall two from the Rochester Americans for Monday’s road tilt in Detroit, coach Dan Bylsma said.

They practiced with only four healthy defenders this morning inside HarborCenter.

Not exactly ideal, huh?

Defensemen Taylor Fedun (foot) and Cody Franson (unspecified) were injured in Friday’s 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim. Justin Falk (bruised calf, two games) and Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, seven games) are also hurt.... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) tries to stuff the puck past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back from early deficit, beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – As if the season-killing streak the Sabres have recently endured wasn’t bad enough, it looked like they might hit rock bottom again Saturday.

Early on, the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets simply outclassed the Sabres, opening a 3-0 first-period lead.

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, so good at home this season, performed terribly for 20 minutes. Defenseman Jake McCabe, one of the steadiest Sabres all season, struggled through perhaps the worst period of ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno (82) contends for the puck with Tampa Bay's Vladislav Namestnikov on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to establish identity in final 15 games

BUFFALO – Technically, the Sabres are still alive in the playoff chase. Thanks to seven losses in eight games, it only seems like they’ve been eliminated.

But realistically, the seventh-place Sabres are finished. They must climb four teams and make up at least seven points to reach the final wild card spot.

The odds of that happening? Try 0.2 percent, according to sportclubstats.com.

Fifteen games are left, starting with tonight’s road tilt against the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (center), Jake McCabe and Evander Kane didn't celebrate much after Eichel's second goal. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Flyers throttle Sabres: ‘We weren’t ready to play’

BUFFALO – It’s happening. Less than two years into his career, center Jack Eichel, the ultra-talented youngster the Sabres gave up an entire season to draft, is morphing into an offensive superstar.

Eichel, 20, is on fire. Since Feb. 1, Eichel leads the NHL with 24 points. With two goals and three more points Tuesday, he extended his career-long point streak to 11 games. The youngster now has 101 NHL points in just 127 ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov has played only 38 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov still struggling

BUFFALO – In his first and probably only season here, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has performed so poorly – the Russian has one goal, two points and a wretched minus-17 rating – the Sabres couldn’t even get a late-round pick for him before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

So the Sabres have Kulikov for 18 more games. Of course, that doesn’t mean coach Dan Bylsma will play him.

Kulikov, 26, could become a healthy scratch if he doesn’t ... Read the full article

Dmity Kulikov has struggled all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov close to getting scratched

BUFFALO – In his first and probably only season here, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has performed so poorly – the Russian has one goal, two points and a wretched minus-15 rating – the Sabres couldn’t even get a late-round pick for him before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

So for 19 more games, starting with tonight’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, the Sabres have Kulikov. Of course, that doesn’t mean coach Dan Bylsma will play him.

Kulikov, 26, ... Read the full article

Tim Murray wanted to pull off a trade Wednesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t find trade partners before deadline

BUFFALO – Tim Murray’s history as Sabres general manager shows he usually takes anything for a player who can leave for nothing following the season.

But as Wednesday’s trade deadline dragged on and some deals started materializing around the NHL, the Sabres curiously stayed quiet.

When the 3 p.m. deadline hit, word quickly spread the Sabres, who have four unrestricted free agents, hadn’t made any moves.

Murray couldn’t, say, get a late-round pick for defenseman ... Read the full article