Congratulations, Dominik

Archive:
Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia's R.J. Umberger deflects the puck past Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – If you’re a glass-is-half-full type, the Sabres did some good things in Saturday’s 4-3 defeat to a weak Philadelphia Flyers team, their 10th consecutive regulation loss.

For the first time in weeks, the Sabres started strongly and showcased a better effort early, taking the lead and dictating much of the play. When the Flyers went up 2-1, they tied it late in the second period. They even scored three goals for the first time in 10 games.

If you’re a …

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Phil Varone only played sparingly Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In a deep rebuild, with losses and injuries piling up, plenty of jobs on the Sabres are still available.

Heck, the Sabres have had openings throughout the lineup for two years. Sooner or later, someone – a top prospect, an unknown youngster, a waiver acquisition or a depth veteran – has to step up and grab one, right?

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wants the newcomers do something different, stand out and make a case to stay. So far, no one …

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Mike Weber had knee surgery last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – How bad are the Sabres early in games? Really bad.

Opponents have outscored the struggling Sabres 40-15 in the first period and outshot them 493-336 entering tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center. In Thursday’s 7-0 loss to Minnesota, the Wild scored twice and outshot the Sabres 15-3 in the opening period.

“We talk about that all the time going into games, we have to have good starts, let’s throw some pucks at the net,” said …

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Ted Nolan's Sabres have lost nine straight games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost a franchise-record nine consecutive games and 31 of 45 overall this trying season. They rank 29th in a 30-team league and dead last or close to the bottom in every major statistical category. They just lost 7-0 to a reeling Minnesota Wild team, their worst home defeat since 1977.

Of course, the Sabres, who host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, were supposed to lose this season. But was the rebuilding club supposed to lose so badly …

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Zac Rinaldo had one prior NHL suspension. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The NHL tonight suspended Philadelphia Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo four games for elbowing Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the head late in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Flyers.

Ruhwedel suffered a concussion and is out indefinitely.

In suspending Rinaldo for the second time in his 165-game career, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said the winger took a poor angle of approach and didn’t make full-body contact with Ruhwedel, who had just shot the puck.

“Instead, he launches into Ruhwedel with force, picking …

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Chad Ruhwedel left Sunday's loss. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel suffered a concussion when Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo elbowed him in the head 4:29 into the third period Sunday, Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said.

“Those are tough hits that we have to get rid of,” Nolan told reporters in Philadelphia following the Sabres’ 5-2 loss. “Those are not only dangerous hits, but it’s a putting a fellow player in jeopardy of his career.”

He added: “It’s just a dirty hit, and we don’t need them in our game.”

Rinaldo …

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Marcus Foligno will miss tonight's game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Surprise, surpise.

Three days after suffering what appeared to be a season-ending right leg injury, Sabres winger Marcus Foligno skated with his teammates this morning in Philadelphia and could play Tuesday.

“I was very shocked and quite surprised that he was able to walk around yesterday, and all of a sudden, to see him on the ice today … it’s very encouraging news,” coach Ted Nolan told reporters this afternoon in Philadelphia after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Flyers.

Nolan …

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Jhonas Enroth said his frustration level is at "10." ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The dressing room door swung open and sitting in the first stall, his pads and much of his equipment still attached to his sweat-drenched body, was Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth, the hard-luck loser again, staring straight ahead.

Finally, it appeared the Sabres might win a game for the backup, who earned his only victory this season Oct. 25.

The Sabres took an early 2-1 third-period lead against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. They fell behind 3-2 but tied 54 seconds …

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Pat LaFontaine smiles Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The old school part of hockey, Pat LaFontaine said, is earning your keep. There has to be a standard. Players must perform consistently once they crack the NHL.

LaFontaine, a Hockey Hall of Famer, skated on the fourth line as a teenage NHL phenom. Legendary New York Islanders coach Al Arbour wouldn’t let him take a defensive-zone faceoff for years.

Former general manager Darcy Regier gave 19-year-old Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko a roster spot during the summer. The team’s new …

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Jhonas Enroth has just one win this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Maybe, just maybe, this will be Jhonas Enroth’s night.

The Sabres have points in eight straight home games (6-0-2) entering tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers. The backup goalie, a hard-luck loser all season, has been playing tremendously, posting a 1.97 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in his last four starts.

Overall, Enroth has a 2.46 goals-against average and .916 save percentage, but a terrible 1-8-4 mark.

The Sabres have scored just 17 goals in the 25-year-old’s 13 starts.

“He’s been …

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