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

Nick Deslauriers (44) battles Florida's Jason Demers on Oct. 29. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers to play center against Rangers

BUFFALO – Nick Deslauriers, center? Believe it. For tonight at least, the defenseman-turned-winger will pivot the Sabres’ fourth line against the New York Rangers.

To make room for Deslauriers, a healthy scratch the last two games, center Cal O’Reilly will sit.

Update: O’Reilly is on waivers, according to reports.

Deslauriers, Bylsma said, has never played center before. Still, he’s “comfortable down low, comfortable going back for pucks,” Bylsma said this morning inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson tries to stop the New York Rangers' Chris Kreider on Dec. 1. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres feeling comfortable at home

BUFFALO – Very quietly, after years of ineptitude on home ice, the Sabres have recently morphed into a strong team at KeyBank Center, winning four straight games.

Of course, four consecutive home victories isn’t overly impressive. But for the Sabres, who haven’t finished above .500 at home since 2012-13, the streak represents progress.

It also gives them some hope. With each loss, their slim playoff chances decrease. But tonight’s tilt against the New York Rangers ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun played eight NHL games earlier this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Taylor Fedun from Amerks

BUFFALO – With defenseman Josh Gorges battling a hip pointer, the Sabres recalled Taylor Fedun from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

The Sabres start a two-game road trip tonight against the New York Rangers.

Fedun, 28, compiled four assists during an eight-game NHL stint earlier this season. In 20 AHL appearances this season, the Princeton product has four goals and points, tops among Amerks defensemen. His .85 points a game ranks ninth among AHL defensemen.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo (21) has a team-high 10 goals. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ offense struggling to score after hot stretch

BUFFALO – As expected, Jack Eichel’s return following a 21-game absence to begin the season has boosted the Sabres’ anemic offense.

In 15 games with their slick young center, the last-place Sabres have scored 39 goals, or 2.6 an outing, a decent number. By comparison, they scored only 38 goals, just 1.8 a contest, without him.

So Eichel’s presence has meant almost an extra goal a game entering tonight’s tilt against the New York Rangers, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel celebrates a goal Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel’s heroics push Sabres past Rangers

BUFFALO – For the first time this season, energy filled the KeyBank Center all night. Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ dynamic young star, was making his long-awaited home debut Thursday, and the normally quiet building buzzed with excitement.

Eichel couldn’t generate much early against the New York Rangers. The second-year center had some skate issues, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

But by the second period, it looked like Eichel might bust loose.

“He showed some ... Read the full article