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Hodgson

Canisius College players skate at HarborCenter recently. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Instead of dressing at the First Niagara Center and busing to the Riverside Ice Rink or another local facility Thursday, the Sabres simply put on their sandals or sneakers and walked across the street in their uniforms to HarborCenter, the new $170 million facility that opened earlier this fall.

Practicing outside the First Niagara Center is no longer a hassle. Naturally, the Sabres’ first session inside the sparkling facility had a huge “wow” factor.

“It’s beautiful,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan …

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HarborCenter impressed Drew Stafford. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Instead of dressing at the First Niagara Center and busing to the Riverside Ice Rink or another local facility today, the Sabres simply put on their sandals or sneakers and walked across the street to HarborCenter, the new $170 million facility that opened earlier this fall.

Practicing outside the First Niagara Center is no longer a hassle. Naturally, the Sabres’ first session inside the sparkling facility had a huge “wow” factor.

“It’s beautiful,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said inside HarborCenter. …

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Patrick Kaleta recorded his first assist this season Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Yes, 30 games into the season, the Sabres still possess the NHL’s worst offense. At their current pace, they would score 142 goals, eight fewer than last year, when they set the NHL’s all-time low mark for a full campaign.

But the Sabres’ offense is no longer feeble. At times, it can even be downright dangerous.

Thirty of the Sabres’ 52 goals have come in the last 12 games, a stretch in which they’re 9-3.

They have eight goals in their …

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Nikita Zadorov scored his second NHL goal Saturday. ©2014, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – For much of the Sabres’ exciting 4-3 overtime victory against the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the young defense tandem of Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and Nikita Zadorov, 19, struggled badly.

Up 2-0 early in the second period, Ristolainen coughed up the puck and the Panthers scored off of Zadorov’s skate. They tied it minutes later with the youngsters on the ice again.

“You don’t belittle, and you don’t blame them,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “You nurture them.”

Zadorov made amends, scoring …

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Cody Hodgson was a healthy scratch Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As the Sabres warmed up before practice this afternoon, coach Ted Nolan and Cody Hodgson skated around the ice together and talked about the season-long slump that forced the struggling center into the press box Thursday.

What was Nolan’s message to Hodgson, who will play again Saturday? The 24-year-old’s trying to work too hard, and that’s forcing him to do things out of his character.

“You don’t need Cody to be banging bodies,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. …

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Cody Hodgson (left) talks to assistant coach Bryan Trottier on Thursday morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson’s benching likely won’t last long, coach Ted Nolan said. The struggling center is too important to the Sabres’ long-term success. They need the 24-year-old in the lineup to produce offense, something he hasn’t done all season.

Hodgson, the Sabres’ leading scorer a year ago, has one goal, three points and a minus-11 rating in 28 games.

Nolan finally scratched Hodgson for the Sabres’ 4-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Thursday inside the First Niagara Center.

“Maybe a game …

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Cody Hodgson has struggled all season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Struggling center Cody Hodgson, who has one goal and three points in 28 games this season, will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his Sabres career tonight against the Calgary Flames.

“Maybe a game watching will get him out of that funk,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

Winger Chris Stewart, a scratch last game, will return, Nolan said.

Hodgson has been a colossal disappointment in the second season of a six-year, …

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Cody Hodgson has one goal and three points this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Just under 11 minutes into Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Florida, Cody Hodgson grabbed a loose puck in the corner and beat a Panthers defender along the wall. The Sabres center then cut to the middle and fended off two more Panthers before deftly feeding Drew Stafford, who one-timed the perfect pass in the net from the left circle.

“For him to have that vision to make a play like that, just goes to show you what kind of skill …

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Cody Hodgson scores the shootout-winning goal against Tampa Bay goalie Evgeni Nabokov on Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – At this rate, Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, the NHL’s 119th-leading scorer, will be an All-Star later this season.

Latvians have seemingly been voting non-stop for their favorite player online, helping the 20-year-old open up a stunning 158,994-vote lead. Montreal’s P.K. Subban is a distant second with 240,362 votes. Girgensons has a whopping 399,356 votes!

But if the tenacious Girgensons, who has only 16 goals in 95 NHL games, can’t get an invite to game from voting, he might earn a …

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Josh Gorges has missed five games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ battered defense corps could receive some reinforcements soon.

Tyler Myers, a surprise scratch for Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, is “50-50” for Friday’s home tilt, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon. Myers has a lower-body injury and missed today’s short practice.

Meanwhile, Josh Gorges, out the last five games with a knee injury, practiced fully today and is getting closer to playing. The Sabres play the Montreal Canadiens, Gorges’ old team, Friday and Saturday.

“That was my goal …

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