Brady Austin spent three seasons in the AHL before his first NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Brady Austin impressive in first NHL action

BUFFALO – Brady Austin knew his first recall could be imminent. Most minors leaguers, whether they admit it or not, pay attention to the parent club. The defenseman heard about the injuries to the Sabres’ injury-ravaged blue line.

Still, Austin didn’t want to become too excited.

“You don’t want to get your hopes up in case you don’t get the call,” Austin said Tuesday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins inside ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers has a two-game point streak. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers finally playing, contributing

BUFFALO – When Sabres coach Dan Bylsma charged Nick Deslauriers with creating some energy, the gritty winger’s first instinct, of course, was to fight.

But these days, those opportunities are scarce. Deslauriers has only fought four times this season. He certainly wasn’t going to find one enjoying a rare shift on the first line with the listless Sabres down three goals Saturday.

“I would’ve loved to get a fight there, but I don’t think ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) tries to stuff the puck past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back from early deficit, beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – As if the season-killing streak the Sabres have recently endured wasn’t bad enough, it looked like they might hit rock bottom again Saturday.

Early on, the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets simply outclassed the Sabres, opening a 3-0 first-period lead.

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, so good at home this season, performed terribly for 20 minutes. Defenseman Jake McCabe, one of the steadiest Sabres all season, struggled through perhaps the worst period of ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (29) knows a few more wins would have the Sabres in the thick of the playoff race. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres still learning to win

BUFFALO – In what has become another disappointing season destined to end without a playoff appearance, the Sabres have endured 39 defeats. A few have been blowouts, but the club has usually been highly competitive, losing 20 one-goal affairs.

The Sabres have taken leads deep into games before melting down, losing seven contests in which they were up entering the third period.

Want a telltale sign of a team learning how to win? Try an ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen wasn't happy about Sunday's loss. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Loss to Penguins still painful for Sabres

BUFFALO – It lingered. This morning, less than a day after the Sabres imploded again, blowing an early three-goal lead, the 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh still stung.

“This game should be painful, one we got to learn and get better from as a result,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said this afternoon following a team meeting inside KeyBank Center.

Remember, the Sabres, whose playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, have frittered away third-period leads and ... Read the full article

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

Jack Eichel (15) stickhandles past handles past Nashville's Mattias Ekholm on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres implode late, lose to Predators in OT

BUFFALO – Before today’s trade deadline hits, before the reeling Sabres sell off assets, they imploded again Tuesday, illustrating why they’ll soon complete their sixth straight season without a playoff appearance.

Up 4-2 against the Nashville Predators late before 18,634 fans inside KeyBank Center, the Sabres frittered away a two-goal lead third-period lead for the second straight game, losing 5-4 in overtime.

Thanks to four straight losses, the Sabres are six points out of the ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Evan Rodrigues' fifth NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Evan Rodrigues again; Cody Franson out 2-3 weeks

TORONTO – This afternoon, hours before his fifth NHL game, Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues couldn’t stop smiling.

“He’s always all smiles,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said inside the Air Canada Centre.

True, Rodrigues, 23, always seems to be grinning. But tonight’s tilt, which will be broadcast across Canada on “Hockey Night in Canada,” is extra special for Rodrigues, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Etobicoke, about 20 minutes from Toronto.

“It’s going ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges had a hard time sitting out. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Josh Gorges returns; Nick Deslauriers stays at center

BUFFALO – The badgering has finally stopped. Josh Gorges is healthy, back playing after a hip injury cost him 12 games. So Sabres coach Dan Bylsma can walk by the defenseman again without getting an earful.

“Josh has been one miserable guy to be around,” Bylsma said Saturday morning. “I don’t walk by him without him saying he’s ready to play, and that was about 15 days ago.”

Gorges, 32, played in Saturday’s 4-0 win ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges has been battling an odd hip problem. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges finally healthy

BUFFALO – The badgering has finally stopped. Josh Gorges is healthy, ready to return from a hip injury that cost him the last 12 games. So Sabres coach Dan Bylsma can walk by the defenseman again without getting an earful.

“Josh has been one miserable guy to be around,” Bylsma, who has called Gorges “crusty,” said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I don’t walk by him without him saying he’s ready to play, and thawas ... Read the full article