Rasmus Ristolainen (55) fights Toronto's Nazem Kadri on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start fast, beat Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – In an otherwise awful season, the Sabres and their fans can look forward to this: Monday’s entertaining 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs was just the first tilt between the longtime rivals.

The Sabres play the Leafs three more times over their next 13 contests. Just ask Leafs center Nazem Kadri.

Kadri appeared to correct Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen on the number of game left during an argument from their respective ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle was also recalled in January. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Brendan Guhle to utilize speed during recall

BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.

Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.

So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article

Rick Nash skates in his Bruins debut Sunday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Bruins land Rick Nash, Brian Gionta before trade deadline

BUFFALO – Shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday, Rick Nash walked into KeyBank Center to meet his new teammates. Several minutes later, the veteran winger emerged from the dressing room clad in Boston Bruins apparel to chat with the media.

“I’ve only been here for five minutes and I can kind of sense that buzz, sense that excitement, the energy that a winning team has,” an excited Nash said prior to Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to ... Read the full article

Phil Housley joined Nashville as an assistant coach in 2013. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Barry Trotz believes Phil Housley has plan for Sabres

BUFFALO – Barry Trotz was working late Sunday, so the Washington Capitals coach sent a trainer to see if Phil Housley, a former assistant, was still in his office inside KeyBank Center.

Housley was there, so Trotz and his old friend caught up for a little while.

Trotz, a mentor to Housley, is the NHL’s dean of coaches, having continuously led a team since 1998-99, when he took over the expansion Nashville Predators.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has zero home wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Lightning

BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.

But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.

Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues moved up to the top line Thursday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues back beside college linemate Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues formed perhaps college hockey’s best duo, piling up points during Boston University’s run to the national championship game.

Eichel won the Hobey Baker Award as a freshman. Meanwhile, Rodrigues enjoyed a monster senior season, compiling 61 points in 41 games.

“We kind of knew where each other were all over the ice,” Rodrigues said Thursday prior to scoring his first goal in 22 games. “We ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (left) muscles past Boston's Noel Acciari on Dec. 19. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Thumb surgery to sideline Sabres’ Jake McCabe weeks

BUFFALO – With Jake McCabe out three to four weeks after undergoing thumb surgery today and Rasmus Ristolainen struggling, the Sabres’ defense corps will look much different tonight against the New York Islanders.

Casey Nelson, a recent recall quickly earning coach Phil Housley’s trust, will play with Marco Scandella, Ristolainen’s partner much of the season on the No. 1 pair. Ristolainen, meanwhile, will move back and skate with Nathan Beaulieu.... Read the full article

Ryan Miller joined Anaheim this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Ryan Miller enjoying life with Ducks

BUFFALO – Ryan Miller’s decision to sign with the Anaheim Ducks centered, in part, on his desire to be closer to his family.

The former Sabres goalie and his wife, Noureen DeWulf, an actress, have lived in the Los Angeles area with their 3-year-old son, Bodhi, for years. Naturally, coming home has eased some of the pressures that accompany the hectic NHL life.

Still, the Ducks often go on long road trips. They finished a ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson has played eight straight games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Casey Nelson becoming regular

BUFFALO – Call Casey Nelson the forgotten Sabres defenseman. As injuries ravaged the blue line earlier this season, he stayed in Rochester, playing big minutes as the Americans got off to their best start in years.

The Sabres recalled Nelson in mid-November. But he only sat out as a healthy scratch before going back to the AHL later in the month.... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) and Minnesota's Matt Dumba collide Nov. 22. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Johan Larsson surprised by two-game suspension

BUFFALO – Having never been suspended in his 229-game career, Sabres center Johan Larsson figured the NHL would slap him with a one-game ban for cross-checking Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck in the face late in Thursday’s 4-2 loss.

“I have no history, I’m kind of surprised I got two games,” Larsson said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “The guy didn’t get hurt or anything.”

During Friday’s phone hearing, Larsson argued he tried to ... Read the full article