Nick Baptiste scored his fourth NHL goal Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Ability to roll four lines buoying Sabres’ recent success

BUFFALO – A commitment to a 200-foot game, not his scoring prowess, helped winger Nick Baptiste earn another recall to the Sabres last week.

Baptiste, a third-year pro, has learned offense starts with strong defense. That was evident when Baptiste scored his fourth NHL goal in Thursday’s 4-0 win in Vancouver.

“It was a play where we made them turn the puck over,” Baptiste said this morning after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (29) knows Buffalo is a special place when the Sabres are winning. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Hot Sabres want to reward fans with home wins

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville sounded a little nostalgic recalling some special memories from his first stint here. Occasionally, when the Sabres winger watches a memorable goal on, the passion he sees from fans in the clips wows him.

“It’s pretty amazing how they respond,” Pominville said Monday inside KeyBank Center after the Sabres reconvened following the NHL All-Star break.

Right now, the Sabres are enjoying their first three-game winning streak this season entering tonight’s ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly has just one assist this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres implode against Devils, still looking for first win

BUFFALO – Phil Housley played eight seasons here, so the rookie coach understands Sabres fans, win or lose, appreciate a strong effort.

To Housley, the surly crowd “had a right” to boo the winless Sabres throughout Monday afternoon’s wretched 6-2 defeat to the New Jersey Devils.

“If I was sitting in their shoes, I would’ve had maybe the same reaction,” said Housley, who called his team’s effort “unacceptable.”... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has committed some costly turnovers. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres newcomer Nathan Beaulieu struggling early

BUFFALO – By the 12-minute mark of the second period, with the New Jersey Devils throttling the Sabres and a huge gaffe fresh in his mind, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu figured he better do something notable.

So the struggling newcomer, whose turnover minutes earlier created New Jersey’s fourth goal, fought Miles Wood, winning a quick and easy decision.

“I was obviously frustrated with the way it was going and just trying to find a spark,” Beaulieu ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson relieved Robin Lehner on Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Devils

BUFFALO – Backup goalie Chad Johnson, who relieved Robin Lehner for the final 31 minutes of Saturday’s 6-3 road loss to the New York Islanders, will start this afternoon’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils.

“We looked at the schedule, we wanted to get him a game early, right away,” Housley said. “The plan was not to have Robin pulled so early in the second period. We felt Chad had a good outing.”

Johnson ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has zero points this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres want details in game

BUFFALO – Fresh off a dreadful road loss, the 0-2 Sabres started Sunday’s practice, well, pretty poorly. About 10 minutes into the session, associate coach Davis Payne finally had enough of their shoddy execution.

Payne yelled, “Let’s get (expletive) sharp!” A few seconds later, Payne let loose again on the KeyBank Center ice, saying, “Let’s get it (expletive) going!”

“It’s getting back to the little details,” Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly said of Sunday’s theme. “That’s ... Read the full article

Will Butcher came to Buffalo in August. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Will Butcher enjoyed visiting Sabres

BUFFALO – As you would expect, the picture of defenseman Will Butcher hauling a blue Sabres hockey bag through Denver International Airport last month ignited plenty of speculation about the free agent’s future.

Did the bag mean, Butcher, a former University of Denver star and Hobey Baker Award winner, would sign with the Sabres? Well, no.... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno skates out after celebrating his goal Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marcus Foligno utilizing talents beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Considering Marcus Foligno just scored his first goal in 11 games, his target number might seem a little high. After all, the Sabres winger endured an offensive drought following a promotion to a scoring line beside slick center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.

But Foligno, who has nine goals, one short of his career high set last season, wants to score 15 times this campaign.

“With 31 games left, it’s doable, very ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson makes one of his 41 saves Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waste goalie Anders Nilsson’s effort, fall to Devils in OT

BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost a lot of games in the past three-plus seasons – 176, to be exact – so they’ve experienced about every kind of defeat imaginable.

So, yes, an overtime penalty shot has victimized them.

But a high-scoring forward scored that goal on the road. How about a defenseman with 37 goals in 11 seasons doing that on your home ice?

That happened in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the New Jersey ... Read the full article

Justin Falk spent part of last season in Columbus. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Justin Falk for injured Dmitry Kulikov; Jack Eichel skating

BUFFALO – Down one day, up the next. Repeat for six months. For the last three seasons, Sabres newcomer Justin Falk has served as a depth defenseman for three organizations, constantly shuttling between the NHL and AHL.

“Over the last two or three years I’ve hopped back and forth quite a bit,” Falk, 28, said after the Sabres recalled him this morning. “Just another day for me to go about my business. It’s just a ... Read the full article