Ryan Ellis considred Phil Housley more of a friend than a coach. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Predators’ Ryan Ellis grew close to Phil Housley

BUFFALO – In good times or bad, on or off the ice, Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could always turn to Sabres coach Phil Housley.

“He was always kind of there,” Ellis said prior to Monday’s 4-0 win against the Sabres, Housley’s first meeting against his old team. “He was like the calming influence.”

Ellis, 27, morphed into one of the NHL’s highest-scoring defensemen over Housley’s four years as an assistant coach in Nashville. ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has started one game this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start against scorching Predators

BUFFALO – When Sabres coach Phil Housley said last week he planned to give goalie Linus Ullmark some starts, you figured he might ease the prospect in early.

Remember, while Ullmark has played 22 NHL contests, 20 of his appearances came as a rookie in 2015-16. The Swede has spent most of the last two seasons in the AHL.

But Housley will throw Ullmark, 24, into the fray against the scorching Nashville Predators tonight ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has four fights this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nathan Beaulieu ‘big believer in fighting’

BUFFALO – In his NHL career, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has fought 12 times, or an average of once every 23 games.

Speed and other skills, of course, helped Beaulieu reach the big leagues. Still, he believes fighting is a vital part of his repertoire.

“I’m a big believer in fighting in hockey,” Beaulieu said prior to recording an assist in Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. “I feel like there’s a place ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel missed 15 games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel set to return from ankle injury

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jack Eichel, out the last 15 games with a high-right ankle sprain, will return for this afternoon’s tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Talking to our doctors and trainers, his practice, the way he progressed all week, we checked all the boxes off,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “He’s ready to play, he wants to play, he wants to get back in the lineup. We feel ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo also suffered a concussion last season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo practices, feeling healthy after concussion

BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Kyle Okposo suffered his second concussion in less than a year, his mind raced back to his frightening experience last season.

Last March, a concussion forced Okposo, 29, to be hospitalized in intensive care. So following his collision with Senators winger Bobby Ryan last week in Ottawa, he thought the worst.

“That kind of runs through your mind, ‘Oh no, I hope it doesn’t happen again,’ and, ‘Here we ... Read the full article

The Sabres recalled Linus Ullmark on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Linus Ullmark back with Sabres after birth of son

BUFFALO – About 10 days before Linus Ullmark’s wife, Moa, gave birth to a baby boy, the goalie started giving a physical therapist in Rochester his phone during practices in case she went into labor.

After the Sabres recalled Ullmark from the Americans on Tuesday, he let Michael Adesso, the Buffalo’s assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist, hold his phone when he was on the ice.

Early during Wednesday’s session inside HarborCenter, the loquacious Ullmark... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (right) fights Toronto's Matt Martin on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start slowly, fall to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s decision to challenge one of the NHL’s toughest customers had the desired effect for the reeling Sabres.

With the Sabres down 2-0 just minutes into Thursday’s 5-2 loss, Beaulieu picked a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs heavyweight Matt Martin.

“Sometimes it’s just something you need to do,” Beaulieu said. “A lot of respect over there to give me that opportunity. He’s a tough customer. Just trying to wake the boys ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle will play his 10th NHL game tonight. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle adjusting to NHL game

BUFFALO – When the Sabres faced the Toronto Maple Leafs here 10 days ago, defenseman Brendan Guhle started his first NHL game in seven weeks poorly.

“He had a little bit of a rough start in a big game, in a big atmosphere,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “But as the game wore on, I thought he got more comfortable. I think he’s getting more comfortable as he’s playing his ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner makes a save on Vegas' Tomas Hyka on Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

With goalie Linus Ullmark up, Sabres have crowded net

BUFFALO – Before a rough outing last week, Sabres backup Chad Johnson was among the NHL’s hottest goalies, going 6-2-0 over a six-week stretch.

But Johnson, 31, might be getting a break soon. In fact, in the near future, he could even be scratched for some games.

Right now, the Sabres have three healthy goalies – Johnson, starter Robin Lehner and prospect Linus Ullmark – on the roster.

The Sabres recalled Ullmark, 24, their ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey flies past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury after scoring his third-period goal. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow late lead, lose shootout to Golden Knights

BUFFALO – Early in the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot roared into the Vegas zone, beat defenseman Shea Theodore to a loose puck and quickly dished it to linemate Justin Bailey, who was trailing the play in the slot.

Bailey tucked the puck past Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at the 2:47 mark, then went airborne after tripping on his right pad.

The Williamsville native, who was playing his first game ... Read the full article