Kyle Okposo has struggled this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo slowly finding game

BUFFALO – In good and bad times, Kyle Okposo tries to evaluate his game objectively. Of course, assessing yourself can be difficult, even emotional, but the Sabres winger believes he’s honest with himself.

“I expect a lot out of myself,” Okposo said Tuesday inside KeyBank Center. “I expect more. I expect myself to be at my best all the time. Is it going to happen? No. But you have to expect greatness and can’t ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner makes a save Saturday afternoon with Jake McCabe (19) close by. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Phil Housley believes Sabres can look at Bills’ success

BUFFALO – Phil Housley became a Buffalo Bills fan during his eight years playing here, so he has been keeping tabs on them during his first two months coaching the Sabres.

Right now, the 5-2 Bills are perhaps the NFL’s biggest surprise. To Housley, their success is no fluke. He keeps noticing a trend when the upstart team is discussed on television.

“What is the one thing they’re talking about the Buffalo Bills?” Housley said ... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on July 1. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Defense injuries give Sabres’ Matt Tennyson opportunity

BUFFALO – As a depth defenseman for four seasons, Sabres newcomer Matt Tennyson often played sparingly during his frequent recalls to the NHL.

In a career-high 45 games with the Carolina Hurricanes a year ago, Tennyson, 27, hit the 18-minute mark once.

But these days, Tennyson is one of coach Phil Housley’s most trusted defensemen. In Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks, Tennyson played just over 21 minutes, his highest total since ... Read the full article

Kyle Okpso (21) battles San Jose's Brent Burns on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Short break gives Sabres chance to rest

BUFFALO – Thanks to a load of games – the Sabres and six other teams have played an NHL-high 12 contests – a rare four-day break materialized early in the schedule.

The 3-7-2 Sabres don’t play again until Thursday in Arizona. So this morning, fresh off Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 home loss to San Jose, the Sabres enjoyed a lighter practice, focusing on skill.

“Today was kind of meant to be more a little bit ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) celebrates his disallowed goal Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Tight loss to Sharks frustrates Sabres, Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – The frustration of another tight loss and his missed opportunities overwhelmed Jack Eichel on Saturday afternoon, and as the Sabres center walked to the dressing room on his 21st birthday, he snapped his stick over his leg.

Early in the 3-2 loss, Eichel celebrated emphatically after his power-play goal appeared to tie the game. But the San Jose Sharks challenged, and after a long delay, officials ruled center Sam Reinhart interfered with goalie ... Read the full article

San Jose's Joonas Donskoi (27) hauls down Sam Reinhart on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie interference call on Sabres’ Sam Reinhart negates power-play goal

BUFFALO – When Jack Eichel’s blistering wrist shot whistled past San Jose Sharks goalie Aaron Dell early Saturday afternoon, the goal horn blared, the crowd roared and the Sabres center celebrated wildly with his teammates.

No one, except for perhaps a couple eagle-eyed San Jose coaches, realized a problem with the power-play goal, which seemingly tied the game at 1 just over 17 minutes into the game.... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner stops Montreal's Brendan Gallagher on Oct. 5. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner to start against Sharks

BUFFALO – Before Phil Housley answered a question about goalie Robin Lehner’s 92-minute shutout streak, the Sabres coach looked behind him and knocked on the wall.

Housley doesn’t want to jinx Lehner’s hot run.

“He played a really strong game against Detroit,” Housley said this morning of the Swede’s 32-save shutout Tuesday. “He made some really strong saves, especially in the second period. Our defense in the defensive zone, we collapsed really well, not ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has zero goals and four assists this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres still leaning heavily on Rasmus Ristolainen

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen celebrated another birthday Friday, and if you thought the Sabres defenseman was a bit older than his 23 years, you’re probably not alone.

Having cracked the NHL at 18, Ristolainen is already in his fifth season. This afternoon’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks will be his 285th appearance with the Sabres.

It feels like the Finn has been around forever.... Read the full article

Sabres defenseman Justin Falk (41) skates near his namesake, Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk (27), last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Justin Falk close to playing

BUFFALO – For the first week and a half of his injury, Sabres defenseman Justin Falk said he couldn’t do anything.

“So that was the worst,” Falk, who has missed the first 11 games, said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center.

Then the Sabres went on a four-game western road trip. Falk, meanwhile, stayed at home nursing his injury.

“You wait around all day until 10 o’clock at night to watch a hockey game,” he said.... Read the full article

Robin Lehner made 32 saves Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, goalie Robin Lehner shut out Red Wings for first home win

BUFFALO – For once, Robin Lehner enjoyed a pretty quiet night. In fact, of the 32 saves the Sabres goalie made in Tuesday’s 1-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings, only a few would be considered difficult.

“When we needed a save, Robin delivered it for us,” coach Phil Housley said following the Sabres’ second straight win and first victory at home this season.

For almost three weeks, as the Sabres stumbled out of the ... Read the full article