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Kaleta

Marcus Foligno scored in three straight games last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – After scoring a goal in three consecutive wins recently, his hottest stretch since he burst into the NHL almost three years ago, Sabres center Marcus Foligno believes he has finally turned a corner in what has often been an enigmatic career.

“Yeah, I do,” Foligno said Thursday following practice inside HarborCenter. “I feel a lot better in myself and the way I’ve been playing, the way I’ve been seeing the ice, and just the confidence is a little bit …

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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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Patrick Kaleta changed his visor today. ©2014, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta spent weeks experimenting with different forms of facial protection after essentially breaking his face Sept. 28.

The agitator finally settled on a standard-looking tinted visor to help his vision problems.

Today, however, Kaleta practiced looking like RoboCop, wearing a shiny, mirrored visor.

Relax, he has no plans to wear it in a game.

“Oakley made it up,” Kaleta said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “I was just trying it out today. I’m wearing the other one.”

He …

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Chris Stewart has struggled this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Instead of walking into the dressing room following a long skate Tuesday morning, struggling Sabres winger Chris Stewart veered off and undressed somewhere else.

A few minutes later, a staff member wheeled in Stewart’s equipment on a shopping cart and placed it in his locker.

Clearly, Stewart, a healthy scratch for the Sabres’ 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, wasn’t in the mood to discuss his benching.

“All players have to play to the best of their ability,” Sabres coach …

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Chris Stewart scores Nov. 26, his second goal this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Less than two weeks ago, Chris Stewart appeared to turn a corner. The 6-foot-2, 231-pound Sabres winger scored two nifty breakaway goals during a three-game stretch, just his second and third goals this season.

But Stewart has done little since then, so Sabres coach Ted Nolan will make the 27-year-old a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings inside the First Niagara Center.

“All players have to play to the best of their ability,” Nolan said this …

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Patrick Kaleta recently ditched his jaw protection. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Five games into his return from a broken face, little has changed for Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta.

“It seems like I keep getting hit in the face,” joked Kaleta, who was rammed face-first into the boards by Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry eight days ago.

Kaleta escaped that scary hit with just a few cuts. The winger was wearing a jaw guard then, something he shed Tuesday because it kept cutting him. He tried wearing a chin guard to stop the cuts, …

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Tim Schaller was recalled Tuesday afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tim Schaller had just eaten lunch and gotten comfortable on the couch Tuesday afternoon in Rochester when Americans coach Chadd Cassidy phoned the center.

“Get yourself to Buffalo tonight,” Cassidy told Schaller, who had been sent down following his NHL debut Saturday.

Schaller hopped in his car and arrived at the First Niagara Center around 4 p.m.

The Sabres summoned Schaller for their 2-1 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning because forward Cody McCormick is still undergoing concussion protocol.

After participating …

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Andre Benoit has zero points and a minus-13 rating. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Twenty-two games into the season, the Sabres’ weak and often sloppy defense corps has combined for two goals, 20 points and minus-41 rating entering tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

As evidenced by the Sabres’ recent three-game winning streak, a stretch in which they allowed only four goals, the defense has looked much better – sturdier, you might say – during some contests this month.

Still, it’s a mistake-prone group. And with little or no depth on the blue line, …

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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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Andrej Meszaros skates Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – At the 14:06 mark of the second period in the Sabres’ 2-1 loss Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets’ Adam Lowry hit winger Patrick Kaleta face-first into the boards, earning a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

As a bloodied Kaleta stayed on his knees behind the net, Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros, the closest player to Lowry, watched for a moment. Eventually, he skated over a cross-checked him meekly.

Update: Lowry has been suspended one game by the NHL for the hit.

Seconds …

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