Johan Larsson (left) celebrates his second-period goal with Rasmus Ristolainen on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen’s overtime winner pushes Sabres past Islanders

BUFFALO – As Kyle Okposo started zooming up the ice on a long two-on-one in overtime Friday, the Sabres winger initially had one thought: shoot the puck.

But when Okposo hit the center red line, he spotted defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen racing into the play from behind.

“I knew I was giving it to him at that point,” Okposo said following the Sabres’ 3-2 comeback win against the New York Islanders, his former team he faced ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo played nine seasons with the Islanders. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo couldn’t wait to face Islanders

BUFFALO – Months ago, coach Dan Bylsma and Kyle Okposo talked about different scenarios for the Sabres’ big offseason acquisition in the upcoming season.

Bylsma said he wanted Okposo, 28, to understand he didn’t have to carry the load after signing a seven-year, $42 million contract.

During that conversation, Bylsma said Okposo only talked about one game on the 2016-17 schedule – Friday’s tilt against the New York Islanders, the winger’s first meeting against ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo (21) skates away from Los Angeles' Drew Doughty on Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo excited to face Islanders

BUFFALO – A reflective Kyle Okposo couldn’t stop smiling this morning talking about the New York Islanders, a team he said he “grew up” with for nine years.

Okposo, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Sabres on July 1, will face his old team for the first time tonight.

“I left there and I was a veteran guy, I was one of the guys that had been there the longest,” an excited ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta is on a 21-goal pace. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta thriving in 15th season

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma can’t tell you how old Brian Gionta is, which illustrates how much he cares about his captain’s age.

“I don’t even know,” Bylsma said Thursday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center.

Gionta, for the record, is 37 years old, an advanced age when most NHL players are long retired, or, at best, reduced to a bit role.

Occasionally, winger Marcus ... Read the full article

Sabres captain Brian Gionta skates away from the New York Islanders' Thomas Hickey on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres pump 43 shots on goal, still lose to Islanders

BUFFALO – Following the Sabres’ 2-1 loss Thursday, center Ryan O’Reilly wasn’t taking any solace in the improved power play they showcased against the New York Islanders.

Sure, the Sabres’ struggling power play got its first goal, an O’Reilly score, in eight games, ending a zero for 24 run. And early on, with rookie center Jack Eichel promoted to the top unit, the Sabres pumped seven shots on goal during their first chance, helping them ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson has struggled all season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Moulson returns from scratch

BUFFALO – Struggling Sabres winger Matt Moulson understands that after going 24 games without scoring a goal – a career-long stretch that dates back to Nov. 1 – sitting out as a healthy scratch Wednesday was probably a good thing.

“I think … maybe (it) was a good time to just get my mind right and make sure I’m playing the way I’m capable of to help this team,” Moulson said Thursday inside the First ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly (90) and Nick Deslauriers celebrate a goal Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nick Deslauriers and Marcus Foligno thriving on Sabres’ No. 1 line

BUFFALO – These days, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma’s options are limited. His top two wingers, Tyler Ennis and Evander Kane, are injured. So under normal circumstances, Nick Deslauriers and Marcus Foligno wouldn’t be flanking No. 1 center Ryan O’Reilly.

The big bodies are known more for their grit than their goal scoring.

“You don’t see Deslauriers and Foligno and call it a first line,” coach Dan Bylsma said Saturday inside HarborCenter after the ... Read the full article

Bryan Trottier is one of the New York Islanders' all-time greats. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assistant coach Bryan Trottier has special memories of Nassau Coliseum

BUFFALO – New York Islanders legend Bryan Trottier remembers the noise. The roar inside Nassau Coliseum would become deafening, funneling down from the stands to the ice.

“To the point where you’re reading lips,” Trottier, a Sabres assistant coach, said Friday. “Until you actually experience it, it’s just fantastic.”

The Isles are moving to bigger and better digs 24 miles away next season, the shiny Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Trottier, a Hall of Famer who ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart joined Minnesota on Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres trade assets at deadline, weaken NHL’s worst roster

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ deals before Monday’s trade deadline stripped the NHL’s worst team of four assets. Gone are starting goalie Michal Neuvirth, first-line winger Chris Stewart and centers Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell, two checkers thrust into bigger roles thanks to the rebuilding team’s shortage of talent.

In return, the Sabres received, well, nothing very notable or of immediate help. Only one NHL player, backup goalie Chad Johnson, came back. They also added four ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn (65) battles for the puck witn Philadelphia's Ryan White earlier this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Brian Flynn excited for opportunity with Canadiens; Market for Torrey Mitchell was small

BUFFALO – Less than three years ago, Brian Flynn was an undrafted and mostly unknown youngster at the University of Maine. The versatile forward’s signing with the Sabres barely registered with the fan base.

But Flynn quickly and quietly worked himself into a strong NHL prospect.

After less than a season in Rochester, Flynn debuted with the Sabres in 2012-13. The 26-year-old played regularly until they dealt him to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday for ... Read the full article