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McCormick

Cody McCormick has played every game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Buffalo Sabres center Cody McCormick left Saturday’s 2-1 win against the Capitals with a possible concussion after Eric Fehr’s skate hit him in the head during the first period.

“Any time it has to do with the head you worry all the time,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters in Washington. “There’s no such thing as a mild one or a little one. It is what it is. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and see what happens.”

McCormick, who has played all …

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Drew Stafford has a team-high 10 points. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Drew Stafford figured what the heck, he had nothing to lose by offering his services at center. The Sabres winger had played the position in high school.

So Stafford recently told coach Ted Nolan he would move if the reeling Sabres wanted to experiment.

“I wanted to let him know I’m comfortable with whatever he throws at myself or whoever I end up with,” Stafford said Friday inside the First Niagara Center. “I want him to know I want to …

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Rasmus Ristolainen practices Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

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 of them, one’s more on the defensive side …

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Tyler Ennis has been a center for about a year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis is often the Sabres’ only offensive threat. So why did coach Ted Nolan switch the speedster from center to right wing beside Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson today?

You try everything when you only have three wins and 18 goals in 16 games. Ennis has a team-high four goals.

“When you run into obstacles, you don’t stop and quit, and you got to find a way to get over around it or through it,” Nolan said this afternoon …

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Mike Weber spoke passionately Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – When the dressing room door opened following Buffalo Sabres’ dispirited 5-0 loss to the Penguins on Saturday, three players – captain Brian Gionta, forward Cody McCormick and goalie Jhonas Enroth – were still at their stalls.

Three.

Nineteen players participated in the Sabres’ 10th loss in 12 games.

Given the Sabres’ actions on the bench, coach Ted Nolan’s not surprised players bolted from the room. He said they must be accountable.

“It’s like on the bench when it’s 1-0, everybody puts their …

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Nikita Zadorov has been a regular scratch. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – With Sam Reinhart sent back to junior Friday, Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray can concentrate on another teenage prospect, defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

“I don’t want to start juggling five balls,” Murray said inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing Zadorov on their roster until they find a place for him to play. The 19-year-old has played only one of the first 11 games.

Since Zadorov doesn’t have a release from his Russian team, the Sabres lose …

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Nikita Zadorov has played one game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With Sam Reinhart sent back to junior today, Sabres general manager Tim Murray can concentrate on another teenage prospect, defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

“I don’t want to start juggling five balls,” Murray said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing Zadorov on their roster until they find a place for him to play. The 19-year-old has played only one of the first 11 games.

Since Zadorov doesn’t have a release from his Russian team, the Sabres …

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Cody Hodgson has one goal this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Make no mistake, Cody Hodgson, the Sabres’ leading scorer last season, is the new right winger on the fourth line beside center Sam Reinhart and Nick Deslauriers.

“Yeah, he’s on the fourth line,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said curtly this afternoon.

Hodgson could be moved to the press box next.

“He’s pretty close there, too,” Nolan said.

Hodgson, like just about every Sabres forward, has struggled this season, compiling one goal, two points and a minus-7 rating in 10 contests.

The 24-year-old said …

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Sam Reinhart has zero points in five games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In less than a week, top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart went from centering some high-scoring wingers to playing fourth-line minutes between grinders.

So it wasn’t shocking the Sabres scratched the struggling 18-year-old for Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins inside the First Niagara Center.

Reinhart has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “It’s one of those things. He’s a young player …

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Sam Reinhart has played five NHL games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres will scratch top prospect Sam Reinhart for the first time tonight against the Boston Bruins.

It wasn’t hard to see this move coming. The slick center, the No. 2 pick in June, has been skating limited minutes on the fourth line. Reinhart played only seven minutes, nine seconds in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Florida.

The 18-year-old has zero goals, two shots and a minus-1 rating in his first five NHL games.

“Why do you sit out anybody?” Sabres coach …

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