Zemgus Girgensons has missed four games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons close to returning

BUFFALO – Sure, Zemgus Girgensons has only mustered one goal and two points in 17 games this season. But the center, 21, is one of the Sabres’ best two-way players.

Not coincidentally, the Sabres have lost all four games since an upper-body injury sidelined Girgensons.

“We’ve missed him considerably,” said coach Dan Bylsma, who noted the Sabres have allowed more scoring chances without Girgensons. “It’s a big piece down the middle and a big piece ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) has six goals this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Improved Sabres have long ways to go

BUFFALO – Realistically, one quarter into the season, seventh in the stacked Atlantic Division is a place many envisioned the Sabres would be at climbing out of their rebuild.

The 8-10-2 Sabres, as their current four-game losing streak (0-2-2) illustrates, are still a raw work in progress. They’ve already endured a string of ups and downs – a disappointing 2-6 start, a significant 6-2 run to reach .500 and injuries to defenseman Zach Bogosian and ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) was injured Oct. 24. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane wants to play Thursday

BUFFALO – Why shouldn’t he play, Sabres winger Evander Kane asked? He doesn’t have any MCL pain and feels comfortable wearing a large brace on his left knee.

“I think you’ll have a pretty good chance to see me tomorrow night in the lineup,” Kane, out since Oct. 24, said today after practicing with his teammates inside the First Niagara Center.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma labeled Kane “a possibility” for the road contest against the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark allowed an early goal Tuesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Late overturned goal costs Sabres in loss to Stars

BUFFALO – As the 18,101 fans roared and celebrated a late Sabres comeback that seemed improbable just minutes earlier Tuesday, back on the bench, coach Dan Bylsma knew Sam Reinhart’s tying power-play goal wouldn’t count.

“I knew it was offside before the puck went in,” Bylsma said about the goal 13:53 into the third period following the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars inside the First Niagara Center.

For the third time in 18 ... Read the full article

Evander Kane was hurt Oct. 24. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane wants to play this week; Zach Bogosian set to return

BUFFALO – After Evander Kane suffered a left MCL injury Oct. 24, the Sabres winger took a positive approach. When doctors told him he would be sidelined four to six weeks, he aimed to return after three and a half weeks.

A year ago with Winnipeg, Kane said he suffered the exact same injury to his right knee and returned in that timeframe.

“I’m a big believer in the mind’s a powerful thing,” Kane said ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly (90) and Nick Deslauriers celebrate a goal Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nick Deslauriers and Marcus Foligno thriving on Sabres’ No. 1 line

BUFFALO – These days, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma’s options are limited. His top two wingers, Tyler Ennis and Evander Kane, are injured. So under normal circumstances, Nick Deslauriers and Marcus Foligno wouldn’t be flanking No. 1 center Ryan O’Reilly.

The big bodies are known more for their grit than their goal scoring.

“You don’t see Deslauriers and Foligno and call it a first line,” coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday inside HarborCenter after the ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller played his 20th NHL game Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Tim Schaller back with Sabres after disappointing preseason

BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma was mad. Well, kind of. The Sabres coach wanted Tim Schaller to know he wasn’t happy the center tried to play through a lower-body injury early in training camp.

So earlier this week, after the Sabres summoned Schaller from the AHL, he told the 24-year-old to be honest about his ailments.

“I was feigning getting upset at him,” Bylsma said earlier this week.

Bylsma believes Schaller, the Sabres’ first recall the ... Read the full article

Pascal Dupuis (9) celebrates Ben Lovejoy's goal againt Sabres goalie Chad Johnson on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t complete comeback against Penguins

PITTSBURGH – A year or two ago, as the Buffalo Sabres rebuilt their lineup from the ground up, a game like their exciting 4-3 loss to the Penguins on Thursday would’ve turned into an utter annihilation.

But against a team that usually destroys them, the Sabres roared back from an early 2-0 deficit inside the Consol Energy Center, their personal house of horrors, tying it before the first period ended.

When the Penguins went up ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is helped off the ice Saturday by trainer Tim Macre and Jake McCabe. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know Evander Kane’s loss will hurt

BUFFALO – The bad news, in some odd way, was still good for the struggling Sabres. A left MCL injury will only sideline winger Evander Kane four to six weeks, coach Dan Bylsma said.

At least the former 30-goal scorer will play again this season.

After New Jersey’s David Schlemko hit Kane hard into the corner boards late Saturday in the Sabres’ 4-3 loss, it appeared he might be finished as he writhed in pain ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) battles Toronto's Matt Hunwick on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane out 4-6 weeks with MCL injury

BUFFALO – A left MCL injury will sideline Sabres winger Evander Kane four to six weeks, coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon.

So a 2-6 team with only 15 goals all season is now missing arguably its most natural goal scorer.

Bylsma said he didn’t know if the injury is a sprain. Kane doesn’t need surgery.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Bylsma said inside the First Niagara Center. “I don’t know if I sighed ... Read the full article