Ryan O'Reilly takes a faceoff Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Phil Housley expects ‘electric’ atmosphere in Nashville

BUFFALO – By the end of Phil Housley’s run with the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena had morphed into perhaps the NHL’s noisiest rink.

A thrilling run to the Stanley Cup final can do that.

So in addition to facing the league’s best team in Housley’s return to Nashville tonight, the last-place Sabres must also deal with a raucous crowd.

“Saturday night in Nashville – any night – but mostly Saturday night, it’s really a tough ... Read the full article

Adam Wilcox has sported a Sabres mask all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Adam Wilcox grew up rooting for Dominik Hasek, Sabres

BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, his newest team.

“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said today after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.

Wilcox, 25, spent time in the NHL last season, dressing as a backup five times ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hadn't scored a goal since Feb. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel scores twice as Sabres end Maple Leafs’ home winning streak

TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.

Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt starred for Team USA at the World Junior Championship. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt’s arrival gives Sabres one of hockey’s best youngsters

TORONTO – Even among the established NHL talent on the ice during those morning skates last summer in Minnesota, Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt’s skills stood out, even turned heads.

“We skated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at different rinks, five-on-five,” Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said this afternoon, shortly after the center signed a three-year, entry-level contract. “That pace, that’s the highest pace that I’ve played in the summer and he was really impressive there. I ... Read the full article

Nashville's P.K. Subban (76) hounds Justin Bailey on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to move Justin Bailey beside Jack Eichel against Coyotes

BUFFALO – These final weeks of another forgettable Sabres season are about playing for pride and experimenting. So even when things go well, coach Phil Housley might try something new.

For example, over the last two games, the line of Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues showcased its chemistry and speed. But tonight against the Arizona Coyotes, Bailey will skate at left wing beside top center Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo.... Read the full article

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