Nathan Beaulieu (right) fights Toronto's Matt Martin on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start slowly, fall to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s decision to challenge one of the NHL’s toughest customers had the desired effect for the reeling Sabres.

With the Sabres down 2-0 just minutes into Thursday’s 5-2 loss, Beaulieu picked a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs heavyweight Matt Martin.

“Sometimes it’s just something you need to do,” Beaulieu said. “A lot of respect over there to give me that opportunity. He’s a tough customer. Just trying to wake the boys ... Read the full article

Jonathan Marchessault has compiled 65 points in 65 games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault quietly productive

BUFFALO – After earning only four NHL appearances over his first four pro seasons, Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault decided he would give himself one more year to crack the big league.

“If I didn’t make it, I was going to go to Europe, because I was getting great offers in Europe,” Marchessault said Friday inside KeyBank Center. “A lot of people do a decent living over there, do a great career.”... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle was also recalled in January. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Brendan Guhle to utilize speed during recall

BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.

Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.

So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has the worst rating among NHL forwards. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo on minus-29 rating: ‘It’s absolutely gross’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the question coming and groaned, likely out of embarrassment.

The veteran owns a ghastly minus-29 rating, the NHL’s worst number among forwards.

“It’s gross, it’s absolutely gross,” Okposo said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “It’s something, whether the goal’s my fault or not, it just seems like it goes in, they’re just going in this year. It’s something I wanted to get better at. It’s something that’s very ... Read the full article

Evander Kane will almost certainly be traded. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Anything could be on table for Sabres at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill has never experienced a trade deadline like this one. Prior to joining the Sabres, the rookie general manager spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, winning three Stanley Cups.

The Penguins contended for the Cup every season of Botterill’s tenure, meaning they loaded up for a long playoff run, dealing prospects and draft picks for talent that could help them immediately.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) celebrates his second-period goal with Evan Rodrigues (71) and Ryan O'Reilly (90) on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

All-around effort pushes Sabres past Lightning for rare home win

BUFFALO – In the oddest of Sabres seasons, try figuring this one out: since top center Jack Eichel hurt his ankle Saturday, the NHL’s second-worst team has beaten the league’s two best.

In Tuesday’s 5-3 win against the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, terrific individual efforts, fine special teams play and a balanced attack buoyed the Sabres.... Read the full article

Cory Conacher played 19 games with the Sabres four years ago. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Cory Conacher thrilled to be back with Lightning

BUFFALO – Two and a half years ago, former Sabres center Cory Conacher wanted a fresh start. So just months removed from regular NHL duty, the Canisius College product bolted overseas to Switzerland.

“The reason I went over was just to find a second wind,” Conacher said Tuesday prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 loss to the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

Some risk, of course, accompanied leaving North America at 25 years old. Conacher, ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has zero home wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Lightning

BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.

But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.

Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (left) muscles past Boston's Noel Acciari on Dec. 19. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Thumb surgery to sideline Sabres’ Jake McCabe weeks

BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.

Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has battled injuries and illnesses this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu remaining confident through rough season

BUFFALO – Nathan Beaulieu has never experienced a season as difficult as this one. In less than four months, injuries and illnesses have already sidelined the Sabres defenseman four times.

“Mentally and physically, it’s both challenging, but you got to find positives,” Beaulieu said prior to Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center. “I’d rather deal with it now than later on in my career.”

... Read the full article