Kyle Okposo has a team-high 43 points. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo out Saturday

BUFFALO – Leading Sabres scorer Kyle Okposo will miss Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning with a rib injury, coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

Bylsma didn’t have a full update on Okposo, who left Thursday’s 6-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes after Kevin Connauton hit him into the boards.

“He’s our leading scorer and absolutely a big part of our team and how we play, how we want to play,” Bylsma said following ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno (left) and Josh Gorges celebrate Foligno's empty-net goal Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shake off threat, beat Coyotes

BUFFALO – Following Thursday’s 6-3 win, a contest tighter than the score might indicate, winger Evander Kane bluntly assessed the current edition of the Arizona Coyotes, a hapless outfit the Sabres lost to earlier this week.

“They’re not a very good hockey team,” said Kane, who scored the winning goal 14:24 into the third period. “Let’s be real here.”

Well, they were good enough to beat the Sabres five days ago.

Despite ranking 29th overall, ... Read the full article

Dmity Kulikov has struggled all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov close to getting scratched

BUFFALO – In his first and probably only season here, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has performed so poorly – the Russian has one goal, two points and a wretched minus-15 rating – the Sabres couldn’t even get a late-round pick for him before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

So for 19 more games, starting with tonight’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, the Sabres have Kulikov. Of course, that doesn’t mean coach Dan Bylsma will play him.

Kulikov, 26, ... Read the full article

Tim Murray wanted to pull off a trade Wednesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t find trade partners before deadline

BUFFALO – Tim Murray’s history as Sabres general manager shows he usually takes anything for a player who can leave for nothing following the season.

But as Wednesday’s trade deadline dragged on and some deals started materializing around the NHL, the Sabres curiously stayed quiet.

When the 3 p.m. deadline hit, word quickly spread the Sabres, who have four unrestricted free agents, hadn’t made any moves.

Murray couldn’t, say, get a late-round pick for defenseman ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma talks during Wednesday's practice. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray: Awful road trip players’ fault

BUFFALO – Despite a loss in their final outing before last week’s bye, the Sabres entered the short break playing perhaps their best hockey all season. For the first time in years, the playoffs, while still a long shot, felt like a possibility.

Then the schedule resumed with road games against Colorado and Arizona, the NHL’s two worst teams.

“We go out west and we just can’t play, and that’s to me squarely on ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks this afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres stay quiet before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Tim Murray’s track record as Sabres general manager shows he usually takes anything for a player who can leave for nothing following the season.

So why did the Sabres, who have five unrestricted free agents, make zero trades before today’s 3 p.m. deadline? Murray couldn’t, say, get a late-round pick for defenseman Dmitry Kulikov?

“I just go with what’s put in front of me,” Murray said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “I ... Read the full article

Evander Kane skates today. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Trade deadline looms for Sabres

BUFFALO – Some trade deadline practice notes from KeyBank Center, where the media is gathered in the press room with a television tuned, of course, to TSN:

– Sporting some new lines, the Sabres practiced around 45 minutes today. Naturally, the looming deadline was felt a bit.

“A little of that lingers with an impending 3 o’clock deadline,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “But treat the situations and the players like they’re going to be ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) stickhandles past handles past Nashville's Mattias Ekholm on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres implode late, lose to Predators in OT

BUFFALO – Before today’s trade deadline hits, before the reeling Sabres sell off assets, they imploded again Tuesday, illustrating why they’ll soon complete their sixth straight season without a playoff appearance.

Up 4-2 against the Nashville Predators late before 18,634 fans inside KeyBank Center, the Sabres frittered away a two-goal lead third-period lead for the second straight game, losing 5-4 in overtime.

Thanks to four straight losses, the Sabres are six points out of the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played an AHL-high 42 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Linus Ullmark returns to Sabres’ net

BUFFALO – This campaign, Linus Ullmark’s second in North America, has turned into what the loquacious Sabres goalie thought his rookie season would be like.

“Maybe some call-ups, whatever,” said Ullmark, who will likely start tonight against the Nashville Predators inside KeyBank Center, his first NHL nod since April 9.

Update: Robin Lehner is healthy and will apparently start tonight. Ullmark isn’t dressed.

Early in 2015-16, after only a few AHL appearances following surgery on ... Read the full article

Evander Kane has enjoyed a terrific three-month stretch. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Slumping Sabres have assets to trade

BUFFALO – So what should the Sabres sell off before Wednesday’s trade deadline? After their most wrenching weekend in years, they can’t possibly be buyers, right?

Brutal road losses to the hapless Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes kicked them down the standings, effectively eliminating them from contention with 20 games left.

Desperate for wins, the Sabres couldn’t handle the NHL’s two worst teams. Think about that. Against the Coyotes, they frittered away a 2-0 third-period ... Read the full article