The Eichel Era

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Lieuwen

Jack Eichel (15) battles with Montreal's Alex Galchenyuk on Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Just like the old days. For stretches Friday, it felt like five or 10 years ago as the Sabres’ talent overwhelmed the NHL’s best club, the undefeated Montreal Canadiens.

After falling behind 2-0 early, the Sabres roared back, tying the entertaining tilt just over halfway through. The crowd inside the First Niagara Center sensed something special could happen.

Then, just as quickly as it started, the Sabres imploded for the first time this season, allowing five unanswered to close an …

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Linus Ullmark dressed for his first NHL game Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – If Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark had suffered any setbacks in his rehab following double-hip surgery in April, the worst-case scenario would’ve been a return to the ice in January.

But the Swede, 22, recovered quickly enough to join full practices a month ago and earn three starts with the Rochester Americans this month.

Ullmark dazzled in the AHL, making 38 saves in his debut and 43 on Wednesday. Now, just three games into his North American career, he’s already in …

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Linus Ullmark skated with the Sabres this morning. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – If Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark had suffered any setbacks in his rehab following double-hip surgery in April, the worst-case scenario would’ve been a return to the ice in January.

But the Swede, 22, recovered quickly enough to join full practices a month ago and earn three starts with the Rochester Americans this month.

Ullmark dazzled in the AHL, making 38 saves in his debut and 43 on Wednesday. Incredibly, just three games into his North American career, he’s already in …

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Jake McCabe (29) and Mark Pysyk (3) are good friends. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Their competitions are a bit one-sided. Any game Sabres defense partners Jake McCabe and Mark Pysyk play against each other, Pysyk inevitably loses.

“Yeah, I always beat him,” McCabe said proudly Thursday. “Any game.”

There’s the Rory McIlroy golf video game for Xbox.

“He’s unbelievable at it,” Pysyk said. “He must not have any friends in the summer.”

Then there was the little one-timer contest they had following practice Thursday.

“That’s why he’s got to carry the bag back,” McCabe said.

That’s right, as …

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Nathan Lieuwen enjoyed a strong training camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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 be shelved until mid-December. The Swede has a …

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Evan Kane (9) has mostly played with Jack Eichel (15). ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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 back late in the Sabres’ 4-1 loss …

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Nathan Lieuwen impressed the Sabres in the preseason. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner injured, the Sabres have recalled Nathan Lieuwen, 24, from Rochester to back up starter Chad Johnson this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“He won the opportunity with his play in training camp,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said about Lieuwen, who played two preseason games.

Johnson could receive most of the action in the coming days, but the Sabres might use some of their young goalies, too, Bylsma said.

The Sabres sent goalie Linus Ullmark, …

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Chad Johnson has never played more than 27 NHL games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

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 Johnson, 29, a career backup with only 57 …

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Robin Lehner was injured his first start. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – For the time being at least, career backup Chad Johnson is the Sabres’ new starting goalie with Robin Lehner sidelined.

Lehner, who was hurt almost midway through Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Ottawa, was evaluated today and will be examined again Saturday. The Sabres will know more then, coach Dan Bylsma said.

As the Sabres practiced this morning inside the First Niagara Center, Lehner, who was wearing a walking boot on his right foot after the game, watched from the bench.

An …

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Josh Gorges was hurt in his preseason debut. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Josh Gorges almost revealed what had sidelined him for a week of training camp.

Almost.

“Just a quick cleanup in my,” the Sabres defenseman said this morning before pausing briefly, “lower body.”

Yes, Gorges, who underwent microfracture surgery in February, has already undergone a minor procedure this season. He said he was injured nine days ago going into the corner against the Ottawa Senators.

While Gorges skated this morning and feels good, he won’t play in tonight’s preseason finale against the Columbus …

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