Three games left

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New York Rangers

John Scott has played a career-high 54 games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – John Scott understands you can’t always change your reputation in a few months. The Sabres tough guy believes anti-fighting fans might always consider him a goon.

“I guess the people who have that in their mind they don’t really look at me as a hockey player ever,” Scott said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center. “So it doesn’t really matter what I do. But I like to think I changed peoples’ minds out there. You hope so.”

Scott hopes fighting …

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Henrik Tallinder will be a game-time decision tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Slowly, the injury-plagued Sabres are starting to get some healthy bodies back.

Three injured players returned in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit. Now, they might have two more back for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers.

Winger Drew Stafford (undisclosed) pronounced himself ready during Wednesday’s practice, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. Meanwhile, defenseman Henrik Tallinder (undisclosed) said he’s a game-time decision tonight.

“Hank, he gave me the old 95-percent sure look,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

Center Zenon …

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The New York Rangers' Derick Brassard tries to beat Ryan Miller on Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Finally, about seven minutes into the third period Thursday, Cody Hodgson briefly generated some excitement for the 18,088 fans inside the First Niagara Center, slickly undressing Ryan McDonagh before roaring in on a partial breakaway.

But New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stoned Hodgson, and a second later the center tripped star Rick Nash.

Brad Richards scored on the ensuing power play, building the Rangers’ lead to 2-0.

It was one of those nights. One of the hapless Sabres’ best scoring …

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Mikhail Grigorenko played well at the world junior championship the last two years. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko knows watching NHL games as a spare forward is hurting his development.

“I can’t be sitting in the press box. I need to play,” Grigorenko said Thursday morning inside the First Niagara Center. “Everybody understands this.”

Luckily, the Sabres’ new regime understands how vital ice time is to Grigorenko’s maturation, so the team’s letting the 19-year-old center play for Russian at the upcoming world junior championship in Sweden.

“I think it’s going to be great for me …

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Brayden McNabb went to Rochester for one game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Attitude, Ted Nolan said, “is everything.”

“It’s like a flat tire,” the interim Sabres coach said this morning, “if you don’t change it, you ain’t going nowhere.”

Sabres defenseman Brayden McNabb’s great attitude about his one-day assignment to Rochester helped the 22-year-old compile one goal and three points in the Americans’ 6-1 win against the Utica Comets, Nolan said.

“He’s knows that he’s got a little ways to go before becoming a full-time NHL player,” Nolan said. “He went down and …

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Mikhail Grigorenko will leave the Sabres on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko knows he can’t develop properly sitting in the press box regularly.

“I need to play,” Grigorenko said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “Everybody understands this.”

Luckily, the Sabres’ new regime understands that, so the team’s letting the 19-year-old center play for Russian at the upcoming world junior championship in Sweden.

“I think it’s going to be great for me because I’m not getting enough ice time,” said Grigorenko, a healthy scratch the last two games …

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Tyler Ennis has only nine points this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Ted Nolan noticed a difference immediately after talking to Tyler Ennis. It looked like a huge weight had been lifted off the slick speedster, the interim Sabres coach said.

Nolan told the center to stop playing so robotically and start utilizing his natural instincts. The 24-year-old’s game possessed too much hesitancy when he replaced Ron Rolston on Nov. 13.

Ennis knows he’s at his best freewheeling around the ice.

“I think he could tell I was too focused before on playing …

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Trade rumors haven been swirling around Ryan Miller. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In Ted Nolan’s mind, franchise goalie Ryan Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, is more of a building block for the struggling Sabres than an asset.

“You build around him versus as a pawn to try to get something to make you better,” the interim coach said Wednesday. “You learn to deal with the now as a coach, and we got one of the better goaltenders in the world here. I’d like to build around him, myself.”

Is …

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Steve Ott was named a co-captain earlier this month and was given the 'C' on Monday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Steve Ott, the high-octane, fun-loving and helmet-licking agitator, won’t alter his style now that he’s the Sabres’ captain.

“I want to play a fine line edge of the game,” Ott said Wednesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road tilt against the New York Rangers. “But I also can’t be a deterrent to my teammates, no difference if I was a captain or was not a captain.”

In Monday’s 4-3 loss to Dallas, his first game as the Sabres’ lone …

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Martin Biron retired from the NHL on Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – A year ago, as Martin Biron spent the 113-day NHL lockout at home in East Aurora with his wife, Anne Marie, and four small children, the popular former Sabres goalie began seriously thinking about his post-hockey life.

Biron enjoyed attending all of his children’s activities – cheerleading competitions, football games, school events – something he couldn’t do while tending goal in the NHL.

The family time “made me realize all the things that you miss,” Biron said by phone Wednesday, …

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