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Makarov

Andrey Makarov became a spare part late this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

ROCHESTER – It rarely happens. In fact, it might have been a first. Five days after posting a 30-save shutout, the Americans scratched a healthy Andrey Makarov for their next game, Friday’s 5-0 loss to Albany.

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark started the home finale. Nathan Lieuwen, just back from his three-week NHL stint, backed up the Swede.

The loquacious Makarov, 22, watched from the stands wearing a suit.

Two years ago, Makarov was developing into the Buffalo Sabres’ best young …

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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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Justin Bailey was a 2013 second-round pick. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres have sent 10 players to the Rochester Americans, including Williamsville native Justin Bailey, a wing prospect beginning his first professional season.

The Sabres also sent forwards Nick Baptiste, William Carrier, Dan Catenacci, Jerry D’Amigo, Jean Dupuy Justin Kea, Jack Nevins and Phil Varone and goalie Andrey Makarov to the AHL club. D’Amigo and Varone must clear waivers.

In addition, the Sabres released forward Matt Garbowsky and defenseman Matt Prapavessis from their tryouts.

The Sabres have 38 players – 20 …

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Robin Lehner stops a shot from Max McCormick on Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – A week ago, Sabres newcomer Evander Kane, a winger who has hit the 30-goal mark once in his six-year career, boldly said he wants score 40 or 50 times this season.

Was it brash? You bet. But Kane backed up his words Wednesday, starting his Sabres career splendidly by scoring twice in their 5-2 exhibition loss to the Ottawa Senators before an announced crowd of 17,298 fans inside the First Niagara Center.

“It gets you feeling good and gets the …

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Brendan Guhle will play his second preseason game tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The odds, of course, are still very low Brendan Guhle will stick around. In the coming days, the Sabres will likely send the defense prospect, the 51st pick in June, back to his junior club following an impressive training camp.

But Sabres coach Dan Bylsma left the door open just a crack for the 18-year-old.

“At least through one exhibition game and practice so far, he’s shown the ability that he could possibly do it, he could possibly play back …

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Dan Bylsma keeps wondering whose loud voice he's hearing. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The voice is so loud, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma keeps looking back on the ice and wondering who the heck is yelling.

“His voice is like his size, it’s big,” Bylsma said about 6-foot-5 goalie Robin Lehner, who will start Wednesday’s preseason home opener inside the First Niagara Center against his old team, the Ottawa Senators.

Lehner, as anyone who has watched a training camp practice quickly learned, loves to communicate on the ice.

“I try to be a third eye …

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Jack Eichel had a nifty assist on his first shift. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It took just one 25-second shift, his first wearing a Sabres uniform, for rookie Jack Eichel to create his first highlight.

There will likely be many more over the coming years.

Seconds into Sabres’ 6-2 rookie camp exhibition win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, Eichel snagged the puck in his own zone with clear ice ahead, and the announced crowd of 5,505 inside the First Niagara Center began to buzz.

An instant later, the fans roared when Eichel fed …

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The Sabres selected Nick Baptiste in the third round in 2013. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

Joining a loaded Erie Otters team featuring Connor McDavid and two other slick 100-point scorers earlier this season has allowed Buffalo Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste to sharpen and expand his game before he begins his pro career.

The Ontario Hockey League powerhouse doesn’t rely on the winger’s offense.

The Otters have McDavid, hockey’s biggest prospect in a decade; Dylan Strome, the league’s leading scorer; and Alex DeBrincat, who quietly scored 51 goals, more than McDavid or Strome.

Sure, adding Baptiste, who scored 45 …

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Marcus Foligno has been playing big minutes. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – For about 24 hours, Marcus Foligno enjoyed the family’s bragging rights. The Sabres winger felt good after scoring twice Friday, his first goals in 24 games.

Then Foligno’s older brother, Nick, a breakout star with the Columbus Blue Jackets, outdid him Saturday, scoring his first NHL hat trick and hitting the prestigious 30-goal, 70-point marks.

“He had to go out and one-up me,” Marcus Foligno joked Monday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes inside the First …

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