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McCormick

Chris Stewart scored his first goal since Nov. 2 on Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The question made Chris Stewart pause for a moment.

“I’m searching for the right answer here,” the struggling winger said Wednesday prior to scoring a breakaway goal in the Sabres’ 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets inside the First Niagara Center.

Stewart, a two-time 28-goal scorer, has arguably been the Sabres’ biggest disappointment this season, compiling just two goals and three points in 22 games.

So much for that breakout season.

“It’s not where I want it to be, that’s for sure,” …

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Patrick Kaleta has played one game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The 412-day wait to play a home game has been excruciating for Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta, an Angola native.

Since his last appearance here Oct. 10, 2013, the 28-year-old has endured a 10-game suspension, a surprising demotion to the minors, a torn ACL and what was basically a broken face.

Finally, Kaleta will play again tonight at the First Niagara Center. It might be a different experience, too. Kaleta, a winger his entire nine-year career, could play some center.

He doesn’t …

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Patrick Kaleta has been a winger his entire career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta, center? Believe it. It could be happen Wednesday, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

Kaleta, a winger his entire nine-year career, has practiced in the middle the last two days. Nolan said Monday the Sabres could recall a center. For now, however, they are “going to keep the status quo.”

“He’s been waiting to get in,” Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “So we’ll maybe see how that works.”

Kaleta has played one game this season, a …

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Tyler Ennis enjoyed playing for Pat Quinn. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Three Sabres – winger Tyler Ennis, center Cody Hodgson and defenseman Tyler Myers – played for former NHL coach and executive Pat Quinn, an iconic figure who died Sunday at 71 following a long illness.

Quinn coached the players to a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2009 world junior championship in Ottawa.

“He was awesome for us,” Ennis this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Canada hasn’t won gold since, something Ennis brought up.

“He was a big reason why …

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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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