Robin Lehner has often played well for a bad team. ©2018, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Robin Lehner frustrated by Sabres’ struggles

BUFFALO – After getting yanked for the third time in five starts, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner skated to the bench, sat down and … left his mask on.

It looked, well, a bit odd.

Lehner kept wearing the protection until the second period ended Saturday afternoon. When he sat down again for the final 20 minutes of an ugly 7-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, he had finally removed it.... Read the full article

Josh Gorges battles Ottawa's Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Dec. 12. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Slow starts often dooming Sabres

BUFFALO – Barely one minute into Thursday’s 4-3 road loss to the New York Rangers, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe whiffed on a loose puck in the neutral zone and started chasing speedy winger Rick Nash.

When Nash hit the blue line, McCabe knew he couldn’t catch the 400-goal scorer. Nash roared in alone and beat goalie Robin Lehner just 1:24 into the tilt.

For the 26th time in 45 games this season, the Sabres let ... Read the full article

Evander Kane bumps into Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott on Dec. 22. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane needs to finish scoring chances

BUFFALO – Right now, with only two goals in his last 11 outings, Sabres winger Evander Kane is enduring his worst offensive stretch this season.

Of course, Kane is still enjoying a strong campaign. The nine-year veteran has compiled 16 goals and 35 points through 42 games entering tonight’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets, a 31-goal, 68-point pace over 82 contests.

Kane hasn’t gone totally quiet in the last three weeks, either.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel misses an open net against Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott on Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres use late surge to down Flyers

BUFFALO – Phil Housley often talks about the shot mentality he wants the Sabres to possess. To the coach, pumping the puck on net from any angle is usually a good idea.

“It sounds so simple,” Housley said following Friday’s 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

In reality, it’s not simple at all. Players’ instincts often tell them to hold the puck until a strong opportunity materializes.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian had his teammeates laughing Wednesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have become tight-knit group

BUFFALO – During Wednesday’s practice, Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian experienced what he called a “Bogo moment.”

“I fell on the ice and everyone started laughing,” Bogosian said Thursday. “We always give each other a hard time.”

Actually, it was a little funnier than a simple spill.

“Bogo went headfirst into the boards,” Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said. “I was cracking up.”

The affable Bogosian, who always seems to be smiling, said he enjoyed the post-tumble ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 22. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart promoted to top line with Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – In Tuesday’s 3-0 loss, Sam Reinhart’s 12th straight goalless game, the struggling Sabres winger barely skated 11 minutes.

With the Sabres down one goal, Reinhart, who was demoted to the fourth line against the Boston Bruins, played just over two minutes in the third period.

Reinhart has been struggling all month, compiling just one assist during his goal drought.

So is the next next step moving Reinhart, 22, to the press box? Nope.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian missed more than two months earlier this season. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian finding regular form after injury

BUFFALO – In Zach Bogosian’s first two appearances following a 25-game absence, adrenaline carried the Sabres defenseman, coach Phil Housley said.

“Those first two games he was our best defenseman,” Housley said prior to Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes inside KeyBank Center.

But after those outings earlier this month, Bogosian experienced a normal dip returning from his lower-body injury.

“The adrenaline’s not there, now you’re in the game mode and getting prepared, ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin has been scratched two straight games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Victor Antipin learning NHL game

BUFFALO – Five years ago during the NHL lockout, Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly spent 12 games overseas with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Thanks to the work stoppage, the team featured a slew of notable NHL talents. In addition to O’Reilly, Metallurg also boasted Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and Mats Zuccarello.

They also had a 20-year-old rookie defenseman who caught O’Reilly’s eye.... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly has a seven-game goal drought. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly battling scoring slump

BUFFALO – This has been a different kind of slump for Ryan O’Reilly. When the Sabres center started the season slowly, he said he was “invisible,” contributing nothing.

O’Reilly eventually got going, scoring seven goals in 13 games. But after his last goal Nov. 17, he hit another rut. Right now, the veteran has an 12-game goal drought.

“It’s lack of confidence and lack of trusting myself again,” O’Reilly said prior to setting up ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons sat out two games last week. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons earns promotion after benching

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons played 301 NHL games over nearly four and a half seasons before experiencing his first benching.

Naturally, sitting twice as a healthy scratch last week felt unusual for Girgensons, who has zero goals in his last 20 outings.

“I’ve been there injured, but it was definitely different being scratched, not a good feeling,” Girgensons said this morning. “It makes you feel a little bit useless, you always want to ... Read the full article