Tyler Ennis had a career-high seven shots on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres believe goals will eventually come

BUFFALO – Here they go again. Sure, five games is a small sample size. But the Sabres, even with several talented new offensive threats in their arsenal, still can’t score goals.

The rebuilt club has only nine goals, 1.8 a game, and just four at even strength. Not surprisingly, the Sabres are 1-4, the same mark they had at this point last season.

They scored four times in their only victory and haven’t netted more ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has been playing big minutes. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen developing into Sabres’ top defenseman

BUFFALO – Just a week ago, it appeared the Sabres would be forced to utilize a blue line by committee early on. Without a proven No. 1 defenseman to gobble up minutes, coach Dan Bylsma had to spread the ice time out evenly, right?

Well, just three games into the season, Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, has quickly emerged as the club’s ace defenseman.

“(He’s) playing in all situations for us, playing against other teams’ best ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian was injured early in training camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta questionable for Thursday; Zach Bogosian practices

BUFFALO – Some quick updates from HarborCenter, where the Sabres practiced about an hour before catching a flight for their two-game Florida road trip:

– Captain Brian Gionta, out the first three games with a lower-body injury, skated this morning beside center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. He’s questionable for Thursday’s tilt against the Florida Panthers.

Gionta practiced Sunday but sat out the Sabres’ 4-2 win Monday afternoon.

“It’s one of those things, if you’re ... Read the full article

Nathan Lieuwen enjoyed a strong training camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have goaltending options with Robin Lehner out 6-10 weeks

BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Sunday.

“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said inside the First Niagara Center.

So Lehner, who has been wheeling around the rink on a cart with his No. 40 and a Sabres logo, could possibly ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner was injured Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner out 6-10 weeks with high ankle sprain

BUFFALO – The news on Robin Lehner, as expected, was bad. A high ankle sprain will sideline the starting goalie six to 10 weeks, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

Lehner injured his right ankle almost halfway through Thursday’s season opener, his Sabres debut.

“It’s not a complete surprise to get the results and have that be the timeframe,” Bylsma said following practice.

Check back for more later on Lehner, who has been wheeling ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) battles Tampa Bay's Jonathan Drouin for the puck Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres lose to Lightning, fall to 0-2

BUFFALO – The eye test shows the Sabres have already improved this season. The games are cleaner and more exciting. They often operate as a cohesive unit and carry the play.

Still, the Sabres, who added a new coaching staff and about 10 players during a wild offseason, are a work in progress.

A 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning before 17,739 fans Saturday afternoon inside the First Niagara Center dropped them to 0-2. ... Read the full article

Evan Kane (9) has mostly played with Jack Eichel (15). ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma constantly tinkering with lines

BUFFALO – After some fourth-line duty in the season opener, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma rewarded Jamie McGinn with a plum assignment as the right winger beside rookie center Jack Eichel and Evander Kane early Saturday afternoon.

McGinn, however, didn’t last long on the second line.

Bylsma moved Marcus Foligno up beside Eichel early. Zemgus Girgensons, who practiced with Eichel on Friday, also received some time. So did Tyler Ennis and Sam Reinhart. Then McGinn went ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has never played more than 27 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres confident in goalie Chad Johnson

BUFFALO – Considering Chad Johnson is the only healthy goalie on the roster, it can be assumed the backup will start this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

“Let’s go with that,” Bylsma said sarcastically Friday.

Goaltending was arguably the Sabres’ biggest question mark before new starter Robin Lehner suffered a lower-body injury about halfway through the season opener Thursday.

Now, the Sabres might be forced to lean heavily on ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel celebrates his first NHL goal. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel scores in NHL debut

BUFFALO – For the first two periods of his NHL debut, Jack Eichel blended in among the other 10 skaters on the ice. The slick Sabres center looked like, well, a rookie playing against superior competition.

Then suddenly, like he somehow matured over a brief intermission, Eichel, 18, morphed into the best player on the ice late in the Sabres’ 3-1 opening-night loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

“You didn’t see him skate in ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel prefers to talk about the team instead of himself. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel just one big piece for Sabres

BUFFALO – Rookie Jack Eichel felt the anticipation building for his NHL debut long before the Sabres drafted him second overall 104 days ago. The center knows the excited Buffalo fans see him as the future of the franchise.

But to Eichel, 18, the new chapter the revamped Sabres will begin tonight against the Ottawa Senators, the so-called “Eichel Era,” is about much more than one player.

“We have a pretty young team,” Eichel said ... Read the full article