Kyle Okposo scores on Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky last Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Comeback from concussion tougher than Sabres’ Kyle Okposo expected

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo said he figured everything would be normal again. When the season started, the Sabres winger felt healthy. Five months had passed since a harrowing concussion hospitalized him.

Okposo thought he could immediately showcase the talents that made him an NHL All-Star last season, his first with the Sabres.

But Okposo, 29, struggled early, looking nothing like his old self.

The veteran mustered two assists in his first 10 games. ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres can draw on their Winter Classic experience someday. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Winter Classic experience gives Sabres taste of big time

NEW YORK – For a few days at least, the Winter Classic allowed the last-place Buffalo Sabres to experience the NHL’s grand stage.

Everything about the outdoor game, the league’s signature non-playoff event, is big. The Sabres, seven years removed from their last playoff appearance, haven’t been in the spotlight for a long time.

So the Sabres’ time here, which culminated with Monday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers before a packed ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored his sixth goal this season Monday afternoon. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Winter Classic notes: Sam Reinhart scores huge goal

NEW YORK – In his NHL and major junior career, winger Sam Reinhart has scored 166 goals, including 46 with the Buffalo Sabres.

Reinhart’s power-play goal in Monday afternoon’s Winter Classic, his first score in 17 games dating back to Nov. 22, might’ve been the biggest of his career.

Fifty-three seconds into the second period, Reinhart potted a loose puck beside New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist as he fell down, capitalizing after Kyle Okposo ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has been on a tear. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Winter Classic offers Sabres’ Jack Eichel national showcase

NEW YORK – Jack Eichel offered little explanation for his recent hot streak. The Buffalo Sabres center joked he took some vegetables out of his pregame meal.

Come on, Jack. Something clearly ignited you during the last month.

“I don’t really think I’ve changed too much,” Eichel said Sunday after the Sabres prepared for this afternoon’s Winter Classic against the New York Rangers at Citi Field.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville skates during the first Winter Classic 10 years ago. ©2018, Janet Schultz, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Winter Classic brings players back to childhood

NEW YORK – Four years ago, Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was injured when Boston University participated in “Frozen Fenway,” an outdoor game at the historic ballpark.

At first, Rodrigues held out some hope he would return in time. Then the college junior realized he would miss the special tilt.

“At the time, (it was) heartbreaking, because you always want to play in something like this,” Rodrigues said Sunday after the Sabres prepared for this ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel is a marketable young star. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to play Rangers in Winter Classic in New York

The Buffalo Sabres are going back outdoors. The team will play the New York Rangers in the 2018 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Citi Field, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday.

The game has never taken place in the New York City area. The Sabres will be the home team, according to the Associated Press, because the Rangers must play all home games at Madison Square Garden.

The Sabres, of course, hosted the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel is a young star the NHL apparently wants on the national stage. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Report: Sabres to face Rangers in New York Winter Classic

BUFFALO – The Sabres will likely play the New York Rangers outdoors in the 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field, according to Newsday.

The game, scheduled for New Year’s Day, has never taken place in the New York City area.

The Sabres, of course, hosted the first Winter Classic in 2008 at what is now called New Era Field. The game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-1 shootout loss, was a rousing success and ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) tries to block a shot Thursday against the New York Rangers. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tie game late, lose to Rangers in OT

BUFFALO – The scoreboard read zero goals, but in reality, the Sabres could’ve had five or six by late in the third period of Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers.

The Sabres, studs at home in recent weeks, zoomed around Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist all night, generating chance after chance. But with six minutes left in regulation and their shot total approaching 40, the Sabres hadn’t scored yet.

Finally, Sabres defenseman Cody ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov was injured in the preseason. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Overcoming back injury tough for Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov

BUFFALO – These days, Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, a young veteran at just 26 years old, said he feels like an old man when he wakes up.

A lower-back bruise has been dogging the Russian for four months, forcing him out of the lineup three times and costing him 26 games.

Kulikov has dealt with the pain through a daily treatment regimen, and Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss against New York Rangers was his fourth ... Read the full article

Dmitry Kulikov has played 23 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Dealing with back injury difficult for Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov

BUFFALO – These days, Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, a young veteran at just 26 years old, said he feels like an old man when he wakes up.

A lower-back bruise has been dogging the Russian for four months, forcing him out of the lineup three times and costing him 26 games.

Kulikov has dealt with the pain through a daily treatment regimen, and tonight’s tilt against New York Rangers will be his fourth straight ... Read the full article