Jack Eichel wants the Sabres to play more aggresively. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow lead, lose late to Penguins

PITTSBURGH – For one period Sunday, everything went right for the Buffalo Sabres.

They jumped out to a seemingly commanding lead, scoring three times by the 18:07 mark. The Penguins, meanwhile, couldn’t beat Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, who stopped all 13 first-period shots. One Penguins goal was called back following a review. They also hit a post.

Still, a 3-0 advantage hardly felt commanding.

The reeling Sabres have a penchant for blowing late leads. The ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson has looked impressive this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson to start against Penguins

BUFFALO – Toward the end of the morning skate, backup goalie Anders Nilsson, not Robin Lehner, started skating to the Sabres bench.

Would Sabres coach Dan Bylsma really start his backup against the Pittsburgh Penguins over Lehner, his starter who has played 13 of the first 17 games?

After fiddling with his sticks at the bench for a few moments – it almost seemed like Nilsson was teasing everyone trying to see if he ... Read the full article

Pascal Dupuis (9) celebrates Ben Lovejoy's goal againt Sabres goalie Chad Johnson on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres can’t complete comeback against Penguins

PITTSBURGH – A year or two ago, as the Buffalo Sabres rebuilt their lineup from the ground up, a game like their exciting 4-3 loss to the Penguins on Thursday would’ve turned into an utter annihilation.

But against a team that usually destroys them, the Sabres roared back from an early 2-0 deficit inside the Consol Energy Center, their personal house of horrors, tying it before the first period ended.

When the Penguins went up ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma took over the Sabres on May 28. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dan Bylsma knows return to Pittsburgh will be emotional

PITTSBURGH – There are no hard feelings, Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. For five and a half seasons, he enjoyed a heck of a ride leading the Penguins, winning a Stanley Cup just months after taking over the job in 2009.

That they let him twist in the wind at the end of another disappointing season, refusing to fire him for three weeks after letting general manager Ray Shero go, doesn’t matter.

“I don’t ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (right) played nine NHL games last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

History shows No. 2 pick will become special player for Sabres

SUNRISE, Fla. – Recent history says Jack Eichel, the mega-prospect the Buffalo Sabres will select second overall Friday at the NHL Draft, could become a franchise talent.

Just take a look at the list below.

It can be argued 15 of the last 16 No. 2 picks have been strong hits. The list includes 50-goal scorers, perennial NHL All-Stars and even future Hall of Famers. Only Sam Reinhart, a center the Sabres selected second a ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had a lot of media interest Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Future Sabres pick Jack Eichel won’t apologize for possessing confidence

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel, of course, never expected his words would leak out. The superstar was simply expressing some confidence in his special abilities during pre-draft interviews this week.

Eichel told teams, including the Sabres, who will select the 18-year-old second overall on June 26, he plans on being a better player than Connor McDavid, arguably the biggest prospect in decade.

Was it cocky? Sure. But the slick Boston University center wasn’t taking a dig ... Read the full article

From left, Sabres general manager Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma and owner Terry Pegula hold up a No. 15 Bylsma jersey Thursday. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Dan Bylsma had eye on Sabres job

BUFFALO – There was a time before the Sabres hired Dan Bylsma on Thursday that the coach and general manager Tim Murray both represented the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Back in the early 2000s, as Bylsma finished up his journeyman playing career, Murray was the team’s director of player personnel.

“I complained about him a lot,” Murray cracked Thursday during a news conference to introduce Bylsma as the Sabres’ 17th coach in franchise history. “That’s ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma is the 17th coach in Sabres history. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Updated with quotes: Sabres name Dan Bylsma coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres finally have a new coach. The rebuilding team today named Dan Bylsma, a 2009 Stanley Cup winner, the 17th coach in franchise history.

The 44-year-old Bylsma, who spent Wednesday visiting with the Sabres, will be formally introduced at a 4 p.m. news conference at the First Niagara Center.

Update: Bylsma has a five-year contract, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula went big again, bringing in ... Read the full article

Tim Murray speaks Sunday after firing Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of interesting names could be available to coach Sabres

BUFFALO – For the first time since the Sabres replaced Ted Nolan following his initial run almost 18 years ago, the team must search for a new coach.

Yes, it has really been that long.

Lindy Ruff, Nolan’s replacement in 1997, lasted until 2013, when former Sabres general manager Darcy Regier quickly promoted Ron Rolston from Rochester as interim coach. Regier removed the interim tag following the season without interviewing anyone.

Nolan immediately took... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen practices Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres youngsters Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov impressing as tandem

BUFFALO – When you’re struggling and searching for anything to ignite the team, you experiment. So with nothing to lose, Sabres coach Ted Nolan paired Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and rookie Nikita Zadorov, 19, together last game.

The defensemen became the Sabres’ top tandem in Saturday’s ugly 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh, each skating more than 20 minutes, more than Tyler Myers. Zadorov wasn’t on the ice for any goals against.

“If you look at both ... Read the full article