Evan Rodrigues grew up cheering for the Maple Leafs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Toronto debut special for Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues

TORONTO – Growing up in Etobicoke, about a 20-minute drive from the Air Canada Centre, Alexander Mogilny’s talents mesmerized Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues.

By the early 2000s, long after his dynamic 76-goal season with the Sabres in 1992-93, Mogilny was still an electrifying presence for some strong Maple Leafs teams.

“He was always trying something new,” Rodrigues said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 win against the Leafs. “He always made some real ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Evan Rodrigues' fifth NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Evan Rodrigues again; Cody Franson out 2-3 weeks

TORONTO – This afternoon, hours before his fifth NHL game, Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues couldn’t stop smiling.

“He’s always all smiles,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said inside the Air Canada Centre.

True, Rodrigues, 23, always seems to be grinning. But tonight’s tilt, which will be broadcast across Canada on “Hockey Night in Canada,” is extra special for Rodrigues, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Etobicoke, about 20 minutes from Toronto.

“It’s going ... Read the full article

The Sabres reclaimed Derek Grant on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Derek Grant happy back with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres center Derek Grant thought he had finally scored that elusive first NHL goal Jan. 17 in Vancouver, his hometown.

Scoring opportunities have been scarce for Grant, but a golden one materialized with a loose puck in the crease against the Canucks, one of six games he played with the Nashville Predators.

Grant furiously whacked away at the puck as goalie Ryan Miller tried to cover it up. He eventually put it in ... Read the full article

The Sabres got Derek Grant back on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Derek Grant searching for first NHL goal

BUFFALO – Sabres center Derek Grant thought he had finally scored that elusive first NHL goal Jan. 17 in Vancouver, his hometown.

Scoring opportunities have been scarce for Grant, but a golden one materialized with a loose puck in the crease against the Canucks, one of six games he played with the Nashville Predators.

Grant furiously whacked away at the puck as goalie Ryan Miller tried to cover it up. He eventually put it in ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is upended as he attempts to drive between Toronto’s Roman Polak (46) and goalie Frederik Andersen on Jan. 17. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane questionable; Derek Grant, Evan Rodrigues recalled

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Evander Kane joked he crashed into his “favorite wall” after scoring the overtime winner in Tuesday’s 5-4 thriller against San Jose.

After his 16th goal secured the Sabres’ most unlikely victory this season, Kane hit the boards hard behind the net, his face and his right hand taking most of the impact.

Kane, who’s questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, also broke four ribs crashing into those same boards ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has a four-game point streak. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis showcasing tenacity

BUFFALO – To illustrate Tyler Ennis’ growing comfort and tenacity, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma cited a defensive play, not a slick offensive move, the speedy winger made late in Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime win against San Jose.

Shortly after the Sabres tied the contest, they nearly got caught without a defenseman during a change. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Ennis suddenly had to win a puck battle.

“If he doesn’t … there’s a real good chance it’s going ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (left) celebrates his third-period goal with Cody Franson on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back late, beat Sharks in OT

BUFFALO – Almost halfway through the third period of Tuesday’s rollicking, come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win, the Sabres looked finished, headed toward an ugly loss that would’ve given them sole possession of last place in the Eastern Conference.

“We looked like we didn’t have a lot of jump and we didn’t have a lot of energy for a lot of that game,” coach Dan Bylsma said after Jack Eichel slickly fed Evander Kane on a two-on-one ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) tries to block a shot Thursday against the New York Rangers. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tie game late, lose to Rangers in OT

BUFFALO – The scoreboard read zero goals, but in reality, the Sabres could’ve had five or six by late in the third period of Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers.

The Sabres, studs at home in recent weeks, zoomed around Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist all night, generating chance after chance. But with six minutes left in regulation and their shot total approaching 40, the Sabres hadn’t scored yet.

Finally, Sabres defenseman Cody ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Dallas' Jiri Hudler on Jan. 16. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres emerge from break focused on playoffs

In eight years in the NHL, Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane said he has never seen the standings so crunched barely halfway through the season.

Following the three-day NHL All-Star break, the Sabres start the stretch run tonight at the Montreal Canadiens in seventh place, tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the fewest points in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Still, with 49 points through 48 games, the Sabres, who have three contests ... Read the full article

Evander Kane broke four ribs opening night. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane one of NHL’s hottest scorers

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 ... Read the full article