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New York Rangers

The Sabres’ Zac Dalpe (20) is driven into New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski by Matt Hunwick (44) on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – These days, as the Sabres’ awful season mercifully winds down, their efforts have remained strong.

Sure, they’re badly outmatched every game. But tenacity and strong goaltending has leveled things out a bit, keeping them in some contests.

“We can’t ask for much more,” coach Ted Nolan said Saturday following the Sabres’ 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers, their sixth straight defeat.

Well, scoring a goal would help now and then.

They hung with the slick Rangers, dodging bullets all night against …

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Nick Deslauriers has fought seven times this year. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Off the ice, rookie Nick Deslauriers usually has a smile etched on his face. The affable Sabres winger can often be found joking and laughing with his teammates in the dressing room.

“He’s always got something to say, always joking around with the boys,” defenseman Mike Weber said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center.

But on the ice, the 6-foot-1, 209-pound Deslauriers possesses a fearsome edge. Just 85 games …

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Patrick Kaleta has battled injuries all season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – These days, oft-injured Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta feels “like a new man” after undergoing surgery last month to remove a bone chip from his knee.

The chip – Kaleta said it’s like having a rock in your shoe – hampered the 28-year-old all season, he said this morning. He couldn’t straighten his knee or bend it all the way. Still, he kept playing with it and planned to get it cleaned out after the season.

“There’s nothing I could do,” …

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Matt Moulson has only 10 goals this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – There’s a common theory why Sabres winger Matt Moulson has struggled offensively for the last two seasons. The three-time 30-goal scorer needs an elite center feeding him the puck regularly to be productive. Without one, the 31-year-old’s pretty average.

To wit: Moulson averaged 32 goals and 57 points on the left wing beside New York Islanders superstar John Tavares over three full seasons. Moulson scored 15 goals and 44 points in 47 games two years ago and had six …

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The Sabres' Zemgus Girgensons (middle) battles for the puck in front of New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski and Lee Stempniak on Feb. 20. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With star goalie Henrik Lundqvist sidelined by a neck injury, the New York Rangers have been riding backup Cam Talbot for six weeks, starting him 17 of the last 18 games.

Talbot’s one breather came Feb. 20 in Buffalo, when unknown rookie Mackenzie Skapski subbed. After allowing a goal 14 seconds into his NHL debut, the 20-year-old settled down, stopping 24 shots in the Rangers’ 3-1 win against the Sabres.

Skapski is expected to start again tonight against the Sabres …

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Matt Moulson beats New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski early Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It was a gift the Sabres couldn’t exploit. Instead of starting backup goalie Cam Talbot, the New York Rangers used little-known rookie Mackenzie Skapski on Friday.

Who?

Skapski, 20, has been dressing for games as superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist recovers from a neck injury. The 2013 sixth-round pick spent most of his first professional season playing in the AHL before getting recalled earlier this month. He even made one start in the ECHL.

Skapski’s NHL debut started ominously.

Before Skapski could settle …

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Andre Benoit has been scratched throughout this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – In his first two NHL seasons, Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit enjoyed a regular role on strong playoff teams.

Benoit, 31, first earned notice two years ago as a late-bloomer in Ottawa. Last season in Colorado, he played more than 20 minutes a night, compiling 28 points.

This season, well, hasn’t been easy for Benoit, who made only his 39th appearance in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers inside the First Niagara Center. The rebuilding Sabres have scratched Benoit …

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Josh Gorges has missed three games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges’ season could be over.

Gorges will decide his future in the next day or two, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. The veteran is “getting the final information” on the lower-body injury that has sidelined him three games, Nolan said. But the team is planning on playing without Gorges.

“We’ll see next little bit here,” Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

In other news, the Sabres will make one lineup change tonight against the New …

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Snow has been falling around Buffalo constantly. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – It was business as usual early Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. Following a day off, the Sabres practiced in anticipation of playing the New York Rangers tonight. Only snowed-in winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s stuck in Hamburg, was missing. Coach Ted Nolan discussed his lineup.

But miles away, Winter Storm Knife was battering Buffalo’s Southtowns again, pouring more snow on an area already devastated by one of the biggest storms in this area’s history.

At about 2:30 p.m., the NHL …

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Snow has been falling around Buffalo for days. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With Winter Storm Knife still decimating much of the area surrounding Buffalo, the NHL announced this afternoon it has postponed Friday’s Sabres-New York Rangers game at the First Niagara Center.

The NHL used the phrase “continuing weather-related difficulties” in the press release.

A makeup date will be announced later.

After taking Wednesday off, the Sabres practiced again today. They operated like the game would be played as scheduled.

Update: According to Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert, a decision on the game had to …

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