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Ottawa Senators

Matt Moulson beats Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner for the shootout winner Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Monday’s exciting 5-4 come-from-behind shootout victory against the Ottawa Senators extended the Sabres’ winning streak to four games. That’s 10 triumphs in their last 13 games. The surging team has rallied from third-period deficits in five of its last six wins.

In one month, the Sabres have morphed from a hapless team destined to finish last again into a legitimate playoff contender.

“We got something special going,” said Sabres center Marcus Foligno, who scored for the third straight game.

No kidding.

Following …

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Tyler Ennis is the Sabres' leading scorer. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Around this city and the Sabres, speedy Tyler Ennis is a star, the most dynamic offensive threat on a low-scoring team. Around the NHL, however, the winger is still a bit of an unknown.

Ennis’ name mostly pops up national circles when he scores a highlight-reel goal.

That could be starting to change.

One goal and five points during the three straight home wins just earned Ennis the NHL’s first star for the week ending Dec. 14.

Ennis, who has eight goals …

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Andrew Peters is now a radio analyst. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Jarkko Ruutu has retired from his European team, according to Eliteprospects.com, meaning one of the greatest NHL pests of the last 15 or so years is finished. The 39-year-old Finn left the NHL almost four years ago after 652 games and an indelible mark as a supreme agitator.

When Ruutu played for the Ottawa Senators, the Sabres’ opponent tonight, he bit tough guy Andrew Peters’ thumb on Jan. 6, 2009. Yes, bit him.

Here’s what I wrote also six years ago during …

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Josh Gorges hurt his left pinky finger Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – When the Sabres began their skate this morning, instead of a having a fresh body on the ice up from Rochester, Josh Gorges and Andrej Meszaros, the two defensemen injured Saturday, were practicing fully.

Defenseman Tyson Strachan, out the last four games, was also skating.

Seven defensemen will likely take the warm-up prior to tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres have some game-time decisions, but no recall is coming.

Update: Gorges is out.

Gorges is sporting …

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Patrick Kaleta recorded his first assist this season Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Yes, 30 games into the season, the Sabres still possess the NHL’s worst offense. At their current pace, they would score 142 goals, eight fewer than last year, when they set the NHL’s all-time low mark for a full campaign.

But the Sabres’ offense is no longer feeble. At times, it can even be downright dangerous.

Thirty of the Sabres’ 52 goals have come in the last 12 games, a stretch in which they’re 9-3.

They have eight goals in their …

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Cory Conacher considers Buffalo his "second home." ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Cory Conacher woke up early Wednesday morning knowing he’d have a new team by noon. The ensuing hours weren’t easy. The 24-year-old winger said he experienced a mix of excitement and sickness passing through waivers.

Finally, late in the morning, the Canisius College product found out the rebuilding Sabres had claimed him from the Ottawa Senators.

“I’m very excited,” Conacher told the Times Herald by phone Wednesday afternoon. “It was a long 24 hours, but luckily it worked out in …

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Cory Conacher experiened a rough morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Cory Conacher woke up early this morning knowing he’d have a new team by noon. The ensuing hours weren’t easy. The 24-year-old winger said he experienced a mix of excitement and sickness passing through waivers.

Finally, late in the morning, the Canisius College product found out the rebuilding Sabres had claimed him from the Ottawa Senators.

“I’m very excited,” Conacher told the Times Herald by phone this afternoon. “It was a long 24 hours, but luckily it worked out in …

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Cory Conacher played at Canisius College. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Cory Conacher is returning to Buffalo, where he starred at Canisius College for four seasons.

The Sabres claimed the 24-year-old winger off waivers today, a move many expected after the Ottawa Senators waived him Tuesday.

Thanks to their 30th overall standing, the Sabres had the first claim.

Todd Reynolds, Conacher’s agent, said by phone Tuesday he wouldn’t be surprised if the rebuilding Sabres nabbed him.

Given the connections – Sabres general manager Tim Murray was recently in Ottawa’s front office and director …

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Cory Conacher was waived today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Hey, winger Cory Conacher might fit in pretty well in Buffalo. The 24-year-old Canisius product has four goals and 20 points in 59 games this season. Only five Sabres have more points.

The Ottawa Senators waived Conacher today, immediately igniting speculation the Sabres, who have the first claim thanks to their 30th overall ranking, would grab him.

On the surface, it seems like a natural fit. Conacher’s the most decorated local NCAA product ever. He’s from nearby Burlington, about an hour across …

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Marcus Foligno has one goals in his last 19 games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

Not surprisingly, the Buffalo Sabres will change up their lineup tonight in Ottawa against the Senators, inserting forwards Zenon Konopka and Ville Leino, healthy scratches the last two games, for Marcus Foligno and Linus Omark.

Foligno, a fourth-liner the last two games, has zero goals in the last six games and just one score in 19 contests.

“He’s a young player,” interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters today in Ottawa. “He has to learn how to play on a consistent basis. …

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