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

Nikita Zadorov has endured a rough season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Avalanche NHL’s worst

BUFFALO – The ineptitude of some of the worst NHL teams this century – the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers and the 2013-14 and 2014-15 Sabres, for example – can easily be explained.

Yes, the Thrashers were terrible even by low expansion standards, earning only 39 points. But it was their first year. What can you expect?

The Sabres mustered 52 and 54 points because they fielded weak teams and sold off their best assets to secure ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges believes the Sabres have enough talent to make the playoffs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know style they must showcase

BUFFALO – To witness the Sabres’ blueprint for success, go back to the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 win in Toronto, a period in which they jumped out to a 3-0 lead by playing fast and hard against the Maple Leafs.

“If you look at the first period in Toronto, we didn’t do anything special,” Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said Monday inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres dictated the pace by pouncing on loose pucks. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had a costly miscue in Sunday's loss. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel: ‘We got to stop blaming each other’

BUFFALO – No teammate, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said, was singled out during his passionate postgame chat following Sunday’s disappointing 4-2 loss to Vancouver.

“We all, starting with myself, got to take more responsibility,” Lehner said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “It’s not certain lines, it’s not certain people.”

Still, some of Lehner’s words Sunday – “Let’s do another deke, let’s do another play … let’s do the fancy thing,” he said – seemed to be ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner (40) makes a save Sunday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Robin Lehner calls out Sabres following ugly loss to Canucks

BUFFALO – At this point, with the Sabres reeling from another ugly loss, Robin Lehner said he’s not even disappointed anymore. No, following Sunday’s 4-2 setback to the Vancouver Canucks, the goalie’s angry, upset his team’s so “disrespectful” about following orders.

In a memorable postgame interview after a wretched second period doomed the Sabres again, Lehner passionately called out his teammates for a slew of problems that have dogged them all season.

“This is ... 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

Anders Nilsson has been sporting a Pride Flag on the back of his mask. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson proud to be ambassador for ‘Hockey is for Everyone’

BUFFALO – When the Edmonton Oilers held their annual skills competition last season, goalie Anders Nilsson and his teammates wrapped their stick blades with a new rainbow-colored tape.

Using Pride Tape, which promotes inclusiveness in sports, got Nilsson, now the Sabres’ backup netminder, thinking.

“They said we were the first team in North America to do that,” Nilsson said Sunday. “That’s when … I thought, ‘Why not be the first goalie to put it on ... Read the full article

Evander Kane broke four ribs opening night. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane one of NHL’s hottest scorers

BUFFALO – Looking back, Sabres winger Evander Kane acknowledges that, yes, he probably rushed back to the lineup after breaking four ribs opening night.

Following an 11-game absence over three weeks, Kane returned and generated almost nothing. Seven weeks ago, he was one of the NHL’s biggest disappointments, still goalless in 12 appearances as the calendar turned to December.

But these days, Kane is scorching, having scored 12 times in the last 21 games ... Read the full article