Kyle Okposo has gotten off to a hot start. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo already paying dividends

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo’s quick acclimation and productive start have been welcomed by the Sabres, whose previous high-priced free agents quickly turned into disasters.

Remember Christian Ehrhoff? How about Ville Leino? Both lasted three seasons before the Sabres exercised buyouts. Both are out of the NHL, now cautionary tales for the dangers of free agency.

The rest of Ehrhoff’s 10-year, $40 million contact is being paid through 2027-28. The remainder of Leino’s six-year, ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner made 32 saves Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner stars in comeback win against Senators

OTTAWA – Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, coach Dan Bylsma said recently, gets a twinkle in his eye whenever he plays the Senators.

Lehner, 25, clearly relishes beating his old team, which traded him to keep Saturday’s counterpart, Craig Anderson, who’s 10 years older.

“Absolutely I can tell that,” a grinning Bylsma said following the Sabres’ 2-1 comeback win, a game in which Lehner starred, stopping 32 shots.

The Swede dazzled strong throughout his ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste played his first NHL game in Ottawa on Saturday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste feels support in Ottawa

OTTAWA – As a native of nearby Barrhaven, about a 10-minute drive from the Canadian Tire Centre, Buffalo Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste had quite the cheering section for his sixth NHL game.

“There’s going to be a lot of people here tonight – a lot of family, friends, teachers, people in the area,” Baptiste said prior to Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win against the Senators, his first NHL appearance here. “My brother’s whole hockey team is ... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste has played well in his first NHL games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste ready for hometown debut

OTTAWA – As a native of nearby Barrhaven, about a 10-minute drive from the Canadian Tire Centre, Buffalo Sabres rookie Nick Baptiste will have quite the cheering section tonight for his sixth NHL game.

“There’s going to be a lot of people here tonight – a lot of family, friends, teachers, people in the area,” Baptiste said after the Sabres’ optional morning skate. “My brother’s whole hockey team is coming. There’s going to be quite ... Read the full article

oalie Anders Nilsson makes a save through traffic during second period Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson shuts out Panthers

BUFFALO – Early in the Sabres’ 3-0 victory Saturday afternoon, as Dan Bylsma watched Anders Nilsson gobble up puck after puck, the coach had an ill-timed thought about his goalie’s strong performance against the Florida Panthers.

“I don’t like it when I have thoughts like this,” Bylsma said after the Sabres’ first home win ended their four-game losing streak. “He just looked so solid, so confident in net you thought it was going to be ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart smiles after scoring Saturday afternoon. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart finally scores first goal

BUFFALO – As the seven-game mark approached, Sabres forward Sam Reinhart figured after all his missed opportunities, his first goal would be fluky.

“The way the year has been going, that’s the way the first one had to go in, because the chances have been there,” Reinhart said after scoring a power-play goal late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center.

Sure enough, 8:48 into the third period, Reinhart tried ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo is excited for his home debut. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres know they must improve at home

BUFFALO – It’s simple, really. If the Sabres have any hope of making the playoffs, they must become a strong home team, something they haven’t been in years.

The Sabres, who host the Minnesota Wild tonight at KeyBank Center, are 0-1 at home this season. They went 16-19-6 last season, when only two teams earned fewer home wins.

“It’s something we didn’t do last year and something we talked about doing this year, making this ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart thrived as a winger last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart happy with move to center

BUFFALO – It was only a matter of time before Sam Reinhart switched positions.

With center Jack Eichel injured, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma loaded up his top line early, keeping Reinhart at right wing, this time beside Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Reinhart, however, produced only two assists in four games. The 1-2-1 Sabres, meanwhile, have just 11 goals as a team, six of them in one outing.

They clearly miss the talented ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson revamped his approach last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Moulson off to hot start

BUFFALO – The genesis of Sabres winger Matt Moulson’s revival began in the wintertime, long before he started a productive summer of training in which he reshaped his body, helping him add some much-needed speed.

Eight or nine months ago, at the behest of management, Moulson changed his work habits as he struggled through an awful eight-goal season.

When the Sabres challenged Moulson, they hoped he would reap benefits this season. So far, ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson was recalled this morning. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson; Top line changed

BUFFALO – Some quick update from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres practiced for about an hour today after returning home from Vancouver early Friday morning:

– The Sabres recalled winger Hudson Fasching and defenseman Casey Nelson from the Rochester Americans this morning.

The rookies, who practiced today, played two weekend games, their first-ever AHL appearances. Both scored Friday. Nelson has been scratched the last three NHL games; Fasching has sat the last two.

“I felt ... Read the full article