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Girgensons

Evander Kane broke four ribs opening night. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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 entering tonight’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings …

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Tyler Ennis has missed 30 games following groin surgery. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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 things. I think it’s a little …

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Tyler Ennis has played only 35 games in a season and a half. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – While there is still no official word, winger Tyler Ennis’ 69-day wait to return to the Sabres lineup following groin surgery could be over.

“We’ll see about that,” coach Dan Bylsma said when asked if the Sabres’ longest-tenured player could return for Monday afternoon’s tilt against Dallas.

But strong signs point to Ennis, 27, playing his first game since Nov. 7. Ennis’ full practice today inside KeyBank Center included regular work beside top center Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo and …

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Robin Lehner has played 27 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The flu bug going around the Sabres dressing room has hit goalie Robin Lehner, so the Swede will miss tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Backup Anders Nilsson will sub, his third start in four games. Expect a goalie, most likely Linus Ullmark, to be recalled. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma wouldn’t confirm Ullmark was coming up, however.

Update: Ullmark has officially been recalled.

Bylsma said no other players are sick.

With Lehner out, goalie coach Andrew Allen, a former pro netminder, subbed …

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Zemgus Girgensons finally scored a goal at home Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Almost six minutes into the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons kicked the puck along the boards and quickly headed to the net.

A second later, he knocked down Matt Moulson’s shot in front, skated across the crease and swept a backhander past Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, the tying goal in the Sabres’ raucous 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Then Girgensons, normally a calm presence, let loose with an emotional celebration, pumping his arms, yelling and banging the glass.

“I don’t …

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Brian Gionta (12) celebrates his go-ahead goal Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If the last-place Sabres go on a three-month tear, roar up the standings and do the unthinkable – that’s secure a playoff spot – remember their offensive outburst late in Saturday afternoon’s thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind win.

Down 3-1 against the Winnipeg Jets and trudging toward their eighth loss in 10 games, the Sabres suddenly exploded for three goals in just 4:42, sending the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans into a frenzy.

The wild third, which also featured a booming hit …

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Johan Larrson (left) shoves the New York Islanders' Travis Hamonic on Dec. 16. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres center Johan Larsson has undergone surgery for his dislocated elbow and wrist is out indefinitely, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Larsson, who was injured when Adam McQuaid hit him early in Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 loss to the Bruins, flew back from Boston today.

Update: According to The Buffalo News, Larsson told Gotland Newspapers in his homeland of Sweden through a text message his season is over.

The Swede’s absence leaves the Sabres woefully thin down the middle. With Ryan O’Reilly out …

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Evander hasn't scored this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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OTTAWA – Five years ago, Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane enjoyed the best start of his eight-year career, scoring 18 times in his first 36 games for the Winnipeg Jets, a torrid 41-goal pace over a full season.

Then, in the midst of his career year, Kane suddenly endured an 11-game goal drought.

“Maybe I could’ve scored 40 if I didn’t have that slump,” Kane said to Tuesday prior to recording an assist in the Sabres’ 5-4 win against the Senators inside …

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Jack Eichel still feels his injury. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

OTTAWA – The 21-game wait is over. Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, sidelined by a high left ankle sprain for almost seven weeks, will make his season debut tonight against the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Eichel can still feel the injury he sustained late in practice Oct. 12, the eve of the season opener. Still, it doesn’t restrict the second-year star.

“You can notice it at all times, to be honest,” Eichel told a hoard of reporters following the team’s …

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Cal O'Reill skates Saturday in his first NHL game this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Some heads turned when the Sabres awarded center Cal O’Reilly, a talented minor leaguer almost four years removed from his last NHL game, a two-year, $1.4 million contract in 2015.

But O’Reilly, the AHL’s leading scorer, has morphed into a valuable asset for the organization, captaining the Rochester Americans and providing depth for the Sabres.

O’Reilly, 30, proved that Saturday just hours after earning a recall, scoring the shootout winner in the Sabres’ 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a …

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