Alexander Nylander has spent the entire season in the AHL. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall prospect Alexander Nylander from Amerks

BUFFALO – Top Sabres forward prospect Alexander Nylander, the eighth overall pick in 2016, could be recalled from the Rochester Americans and make his NHL debut in tonight’s tilt against his brother, William, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Update: Nylander has been recalled.

Nylander, 19, was held out Sunday afternoon’s 2-1 road win against the Albany Devils. The Buffalo News reported the Sabres will summon the Swede from the AHL club.... Read the full article

C.J. Smith played his final NCAA game last week. ©2017, UMass Lowell

Rookie C.J. Smith contributes in Sabres’ loss to Islanders

BUFFALO – The play will be seared in Sabres rookie C.J. Smith’s memory the rest of his life.

Halfway through Smith’s NHL debut, Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the speedy winger grabbed Evander Kane’s pass just outside the blue line and zoomed into the zone on a two-on-one.

Smith then dished a backhand saucer pass to Kane, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 27th goal. Just 10:08 into his ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen is happy he can play again. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres ready to welcome Rasmus Ristolainen back to lineup

BUFFALO – In 74 games this season, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged just under 27 minutes of playing time, the Sabres’ highest total. All together, the workhorse has spent almost 2,000 minutes on the ice in his fourth NHL campaign.

So while a three-game suspension for hitting Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel disappointed Ristolainen, 22, the short break from the rigors of a long year was welcomed.

“I got a good rest,” Ristolainen said of his absence. ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith, shown here with the USHL's Chicago Steel, will make his NHL debut this afternoon. ©2017, MJB Images, Chicago Steel

Sabres rookie C.J. Smith ready for NHL debut

BUFFALO – Thursday, Sabres newcomer C.J. Smith’s first day in the NHL, was “extremely overwhelming,” the rookie winger said.

“I didn’t get to soak it in as much as I wanted to,” Smith said Saturday inside HarborCenter.

Smith signed his entry-level contract in the morning, practiced with his new teammates shortly after and had to take a test online – the finance major is still enrolled at UMass Lowell, where he spent three seasons – ... Read the full article

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