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Nelson

Brendan Guhle look comfortable Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early in his NHL debut Saturday afternoon, Sabres rookie Brendan Guhle, like any youngster thrust into the spotlight, said he felt “a lot” of nerves.

Who could blame him? A day earlier, the defenseman was in British Columbia preparing for a junior Western Hockey League game.

On Saturday, after the Sabres made an emergency recall, they threw Guhle headfirst into the action, skating him 16 minutes, 20 seconds in their 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

“First couple of shifts, I …

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Brendan Guhle was surprised to be recalled. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Brendan Guhle was warming up with his junior Prince George Cougars teammates Friday when his coach gave him some unexpected news.

“Told me I was traded to the Sabres,” a smiling Guhle, who was summoned to help the Sabres’ beleaguered blue line, said this morning prior to his NHL debut.

Actually, the Sabres recalled Guhle, their top defense prospect, on an emergency basis for this afternoon’s tilt against the Boston Bruins inside KeyBank Center because Josh Gorges blocked …

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Taylor Fedun is a productive AHL defenseman. ©2016, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Had Taylor Fedun been healthy enough to participate in training camp, then perhaps the Sabres would’ve recalled the high-scoring defenseman earlier this season.

But Fedun, who made his Sabres debut Thursday, fractured his foot in April playing with the Utica Comets, the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate. The Princeton product didn’t begin skating again until the day before training camp started, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

So while Fedun, 28, participated in meetings with his new team, he stayed off the …

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Dan Bylsma will coach his 500th NHL game tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – When did we see this type of stretch from the Sabres – lots of dull, tight games they inevitably lose – before?

About three weeks ago, shortly after the season started, when they dropped four straight contests. After a brief turnaround, the Sabres are experiencing a similarly dreadful run entering tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the start of a four-game home stand at KeyBank Center.

Having lost five straight games (0-3-2), the Sabres are reeling, in danger of …

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Ryan O'Reilly has missed two games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, out the last two games with a “mid-body” injury, is questionable for Thursday’s home tilt against Tampa Bay, coach Dan Bylsma said.

O’Reilly, who’s day-to-day, skated this morning on his own and is “progressing,” Bylsma said.

The Sabres held a team meeting today instead of practicing following Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in St. Louis, their fifth straight setback (0-3-2).

The 5-7-4 Sabres have six one-goal losses. In some of the other losses, including Tuesday’s, a contest the …

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Derek Grant has been strong in the faceoff circle. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Derek Grant’s rather unimpressive stat line – zero goals and just one assist through 14 games – doesn’t tell the whole story. At first glance, it appears the Sabres’ fourth-line center has endured a rough month.

After all, Grant, 26, was the Sabres’ best player throughout training camp, helping him vault from a depth player likely ticketed for the AHL into regular NHL duty.

“He adds more to our team than scoring goals,” coach Dan Bylsma said Friday prior to …

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Jhonas Enroth signed a one-year contract with Toronto in August. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – This city, Jhonas Enroth said, will always “have a soft spot in my heart.” The Swede grew up with the Sabres, often performing like the team’s goalie of the future during his 118-game run here.

But almost two years after his last appearance with the Sabres, “the feeling is starting to cool down a little bit,” Enroth said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Leafs are Enroth’s third team since the Sabres traded …

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Zach Bogosian had been playing more than 20 minutes a night. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As a college freshman three years ago, sitting as a healthy scratch for weeks burned rookie Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson.

“It shut me down in college,” said Nelson, who will play his first NHL game since the opener tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center.

Eventually, Nelson, 24, developed a different attitude – “You kind of grow up a little,” he said – and earned regular duty.

That experience in 2013 helped prep Nelson for the last three weeks. …

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Sam Reinhart smiles after scoring Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As the seven-game mark approached, Sabres forward Sam Reinhart figured after all his missed opportunities, his first goal would be fluky.

“The way the year has been going, that’s the way the first one had to go in, because the chances have been there,” Reinhart said after scoring a power-play goal late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center.

Sure enough, 8:48 into the third period, Reinhart tried to find Kyle Okposo from behind the …

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Jason Pominville spent eight seasons with the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Minnesota Wild winger Jason Pominville thought for a moment, scanned his mind for some names. The former Sabres captain came up with two.

“Uh, like, Foligno, Ennis,” Pominville said this Thursday prior to the Wild’s 4-0 win inside KeyBank Center. “Umm, that might be it.”

That’s it. Only two players from Pominville’s long tenure here, which ended April 3, 2013, are still with the Sabres: wingers Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno.

“There’s not a lot of guys left,” Pominville said.

Pominville, 33, …

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