Alexander Nylander got off to a slow start in Rochester. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

World Juniors helping Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s development

BUFFALO – In the AHL, where Alexander Nylander has spent most of the last season and a half, the slick forward is still a youngster adjusting to pro hockey.

But at the World Junior Championship, Nylander, 19, is a veteran. In his third and final tournament, Team Sweden, which will compete for a gold medal tonight, has leaned heavily on the Sabres prospect.

... Read the full article

Josh Gorges represented Team Canada in 2004. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

World Junior memories special for Sabres’ Josh Gorges

BUFFALO – By 2003-04, Josh Gorges’ last junior season, the Sabres defenseman started developing into an interesting NHL prospect.

After going undrafted in 2002, the San Jose Sharks quickly awarded Gorges an entry-level contract. Buoyed by that confidence, Gorges went on a two-year tear with the Kelowna Rockets, becoming one of the Western Hockey League’s best players.

Still, Gorges, then 19, was hardly a lock to crack Team Canada’s entry at the 2004 World Junior ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner sported an old mask for a few minutes this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner debuts different masks

BUFFALO – For a few moments this morning, Robin Lehner looked, well, a little scary. Instead of sporting his usual head protection at the beginning of practice, the Sabres goalie warmed up wearing a 1970s-style “Jason” mask and a winter hat.

Lehner took a few lights shots from goalie coach Andrew Allen, including one off the primitive mask.

“Old Buffalo mask, tried it on, I have a lot of respect for them,” Lehner said ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander will play in his third World Junior Championship. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres assign Alexander Nylander to Sweden

BUFFALO – The Sabres have assigned forward prospect Alexander Nylander to Team Sweden for the World Junior Championship, the team announced late Wednesday.

The tournament starts next week in Buffalo.

Nylander, 19, dazzled at times during the last two World Junior Championships, scoring nine goals and a whopping 21 points in 14 games.

Perhaps playing among teenagers again will jumpstart Nylander’s season.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander played with Sweden the last two years. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres could loan prospect Alexander Nylander to Sweden

BUFFALO – If the Sabres want to jumpstart prospect Alexander Nylander’s season, they have a pretty strong option.

Nylander, 19, has endured a rough four months. After suffering a lower-body injury in rookie camp, the slick forward missed all of the main camp and didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 17 with the Rochester Americans.

So far, Nylander has struggled in his second AHL season, compiling one goal, four points and a minus-8 ... Read the full article

The Sabres hired Jason Botterill in May. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Despite struggles, GM Jason Botterill confident Sabres on right path

BUFFALO – Barely one-quarter into Jason Botterill’s first season as general manager, the Sabres are a mess, tied for the NHL’s lowest point total with a measly 16.

A team expected to improve and showcase an exciting style under new coach Phil Housley has regressed and averaged a league-low 2.2 goals through its first 25 games. Slick center Jack Eichel, who signed an $80 million contract extension in October, has struggled along with many ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has been all over the lineup in recent games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville moving around lineup

BUFFALO – Moving Jason Pominville off the Sabres’ top line wasn’t related to the veteran winger’s performance, coach Phil Housley said.

“He was playing terrific,” Housley said prior to Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes inside KeyBank Center. “We’re trying to spark some other lines and find some balance.”

Housley shifted Pominville to right wing beside center Johan Larsson and Seth Griffith or Matt Moulson last Saturday. Sam Reinhart, meanwhile, moved from his ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has played eight games this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson not worried about numbers

BUFFALO – In eight games this season, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has accumulated some pretty weak numbers: 1-3-2 with a 3.55 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage.

Those statistics, even with scoring up six weeks into the season, won’t win many games.

Of course, the reeling Sabres, who rank last in the Eastern Conference, have allowed 3.5 goals a game as a team, the NHL’s third-worst total. Their porous defense consistently hangs the goalie ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson (34) skates away from Pittsburgh's Patric Hornqvist on March 21. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Casey Nelson recalled with Taylor Fedun injured

BUFFALO – After suffering a lower-body injury, Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun stayed on the bench for the rest of Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.

“He was trying to work through it,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Thursday. “He wanted to be a part of the team. It’s good to see him try to gut it out for a little bit.”

Fedun’s injury is so bad it will sideline him six to eight weeks, Housley ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella has been playing big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marco Scandella sick; Alexander Nylander practicing with Amerks again

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella is “under the weather” but should play Tuesday in Pittsburgh, coach Phil Housley said.

Scandella, 27, missed today’s practice. With top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen injured, Scandella has become the Sabres’ top minute-muncher, skating 25 minutes some nights.

The newcomer has zero goals and three assists while averaging 23 minutes, 38 seconds of ice time in 17 outings this season.... Read the full article