Robin Lehner (40) faces a shot Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner thriving with heavy workload

BUFFALO – Fresh off a shutout victory, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner will start again this afternoon, his sixth straight nod and 10th in the last 11 games, the NHL’s heaviest workload of late.

At his current pace, Lehner would play 56 times this season. Today’s tilt against the scorching St. Louis Blues at KeyBank Center will be his 41st game this season, breaking a professional high he set five years ago in the AHL.

“We’re ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner (40) plays the puck Saturday in Toronto. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner to start against Canucks

BUFFALO – Instead of using backup Anders Nilsson, who has a 7-1-1 home record, the Sabres will start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner for the second straight night.

Why?

“Been looking for this opportunity to give Robin a bigger workload,” coach Dan Bylsma said this morning inside KeyBank Center, where the Sabres host the Vancouver Canucks. “He’s getting an opportunity tonight.”

Lehner looked sturdy throughout Saturday’s 3-1 win in Toronto, making a season-high ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (left) celebrates his third-period goal with Cody Franson on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back late, beat Sharks in OT

BUFFALO – Almost halfway through the third period of Tuesday’s rollicking, come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win, the Sabres looked finished, headed toward an ugly loss that would’ve given them sole possession of last place in the Eastern Conference.

“We looked like we didn’t have a lot of jump and we didn’t have a lot of energy for a lot of that game,” coach Dan Bylsma said after Jack Eichel slickly fed Evander Kane on a two-on-one ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson has been sporting a Pride Flag on the back of his mask. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson proud to be ambassador for ‘Hockey is for Everyone’

BUFFALO – When the Edmonton Oilers held their annual skills competition last season, goalie Anders Nilsson and his teammates wrapped their stick blades with a new rainbow-colored tape.

Using Pride Tape, which promotes inclusiveness in sports, got Nilsson, now the Sabres’ backup netminder, thinking.

“They said we were the first team in North America to do that,” Nilsson said Sunday. “That’s when … I thought, ‘Why not be the first goalie to put it on ... Read the full article

Derek Grant began the season with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Full Sabres roster pushed Derek Grant to Amerks; Goalie Anders Nilsson to start

BUFFALO – OK, so if the Sabres need a fourth-line center – they’ve been using Nick Deslauriers sparingly in that spot, forcing them to essentially use only three trios – why did they assign Derek Grant to the Rochester Americans?

When the Sabres reclaimed Grant on waivers Monday, it was assumed they would utilize him as their No. 4 pivot. After all, Grant played 35 games in that role before the Nashville Predators claimed him ... 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

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Dallas' Jiri Hudler on Jan. 16. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres emerge from break focused on playoffs

In eight years in the NHL, Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane said he has never seen the standings so crunched barely halfway through the season.

Following the three-day NHL All-Star break, the Sabres start the stretch run tonight at the Montreal Canadiens in seventh place, tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the fewest points in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Still, with 49 points through 48 games, the Sabres, who have three contests ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly buoyed the Sabres late Friday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ryan O’Reilly helps push Sabres past Red Wings in OT

BUFFALO – With just over four minutes left in regulation Friday and the Sabres trailing 2-1, Ryan O’Reilly zoomed down the right wall hellbent on grabbing the puck from Danny DeKeyser deep in the Detroit zone.

O’Reilly eventually twisted DeKeyser around, grabbed the puck and skated behind the net, where he zeroed in on linemate Kyle Okposo in front.

But the rest of the Red Wings hadn’t caught up, so a surprised O’Reilly skated out ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson (31) tries to make a stop Dec. 6. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson to start against Red Wings

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Dan Bylsma has no explanation for goalie Anders Nilsson’s wild home and road splits.

Consider the statistics Nilsson, who will start tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, has accumulated in 17 games: on the road, he’s just 2-5-3 with a 3.11 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage in nine outings. At KeyBank Center, however, he’s 5-1-1 with a 1.84 and a .947 in seven contests.

“They can be misleading and ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner (40) tries to stop Winnipeg's Drew Stafford on Jan. 7. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner defends wave: ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’

BUFFALO – Before Robin Lehner threw a fit after getting yanked from Tuesday’s 4-3 loss in Toronto, the fiery Sabres goalie skated to bench during a break and waved to a child whose mother was sitting in the first row and face-timing with her son at home.

Not long after that, Lehner was back at the bench erupting after allowing three goals in less than 10 minutes.

Some, of course, will say Lehner’s wave as ... Read the full article