Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Makarov

Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Matt Ellis captained Rochester last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Veteran forward Matt Ellis was among seven players the Sabres sent to Rochester this afternoon.

The Sabres also assigned: forwards Joel Armia and Tim Schaller; defensemen Drew Bagnall and Nick Petricki; goalies Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov.

Ellis and Bagnall must clear waivers to reach the AHL Americans. Ellis captained Rochester in 2012-13 and last season before earning a 50-game recall.

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Patrick Kaleta was injured Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ted Nolan had no updates on injured forwards Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson this afternoon. The players are still being evaluated.

“Nothing official yet,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll just wait until the official reports.”

The oft-injured Kaleta left Sunday’s 3-2 shootout preseason loss in Toronto just minutes in when Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit the winger in the cheekbone area. Kaleta immediately skated off the ice to the dressing room.

Later in the period, the …

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Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top defenseman.

Then injuries – back, shoulder, torn Achilles – …

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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Tim Schaller has looked impressive this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan knew very little about Sabres prospect Tim Schaller prior to training camp. The center hasn’t dazzled the coach, but his play away from the puck has been catching Nolan’s eye.

“I just thought his hockey intelligence was evident to a few of us,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He kept doing it day after day after day. We just felt that he deserves an opportunity.”

Schaller, an undrafted free agent from Providence College, will …

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Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

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Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey League last year, compiling a gaudy .931 save percentage …

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Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen and agitating winger Brendan Lemieux jawed at the end of …

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Colton Gillies had a goal and two points Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

ROCHESTER – A night after blowing a late 3-1 lead and losing the playoff opener in overtime, the Americans experienced deja vu.

“It was ‘Groundhog Day,’” coach Chadd Cassidy joked Saturday after the Amerks grinded out a 3-2 win against the Chicago Wolves, tying the best-of-five Calder Cup playoff series. “We go up 3-1. Rasmus (Ristolainen), just a complete bomb off the crossbar.

“Same thing happened (Friday). We had a chance to go up 4-1 and we hit the post. We start …

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