Shayne Gostisbehere grew up in Florida. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ray Sheppard helped Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere develop as youngster

BUFFALO – Shayne Gostisbehere was just a kid, so how was he supposed to know his hockey coach, the man helping develop his career, was a former NHL star, one of 91 men to hit the prestigious 50-goal mark?

For four years growing up outside Fort Lauderdale in Margate, Fla., Gostisbehere, a high-scoring defenseman with the Philadelphia Flyers, was coached by Ray Sheppard, who scored 38 of his 357 goals with the Sabres as a ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (center), Jake McCabe and Evander Kane didn't celebrate much after Eichel's second goal. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Flyers throttle Sabres: ‘We weren’t ready to play’

BUFFALO – It’s happening. Less than two years into his career, center Jack Eichel, the ultra-talented youngster the Sabres gave up an entire season to draft, is morphing into an offensive superstar.

Eichel, 20, is on fire. Since Feb. 1, Eichel leads the NHL with 24 points. With two goals and three more points Tuesday, he extended his career-long point streak to 11 games. The youngster now has 101 NHL points in just 127 ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly's ice time hasn't dipped much. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly still relied upon heavily

BUFFALO – Ideally, the Sabres won’t have to keep utilizing versatile center Ryan O’Reilly for more than 25 minutes a game like they did in Sunday’s 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh.

O’Reilly, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said, has a “sweet spot” for his ice time. While he didn’t give a specific number, it’s probably in the 21- or 22-minute range.

Bylsma said during training camp he wanted to give O’Reilly, who led all NHL forwards in ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly has still played almost 22 minutes a game this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly still playing big minutes

BUFFALO – Ideally, the Sabres won’t have to keep utilizing versatile center Ryan O’Reilly for more than 25 minutes a game like they did in Sunday’s 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh.

O’Reilly, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said, has a “sweet spot” for his ice time. While he didn’t give a specific number, it’s probably in the 21- or 22-minute range.

Bylsma said during training camp he wanted to give O’Reilly, who led all NHL forwards in ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner will make his 47th start tonight. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres try to rebound from ’emotional hit’ against Flyers

BUFFALO – For a seventh-place team, the Sabres have showcased a lot of resiliency this season, rebounding from tough losses with some notable victories against the NHL’s top clubs.

Fresh off Sunday’s demoralizing 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh, a game in which they blew a three-goal lead, the Sabres have another opportunity tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center.

“It’s going to be the tale of the game, is us rebounding from the emotional ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe (29) knows a few more wins would have the Sabres in the thick of the playoff race. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres still learning to win

BUFFALO – In what has become another disappointing season destined to end without a playoff appearance, the Sabres have endured 39 defeats. A few have been blowouts, but the club has usually been highly competitive, losing 20 one-goal affairs.

The Sabres have taken leads deep into games before melting down, losing seven contests in which they were up entering the third period.

Want a telltale sign of a team learning how to win? Try an ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson makes one of his 39 saves Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres cruise to win over Flyers

BUFFALO – With about 10 minutes left in Tuesday’s 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, as the Sabres closed out an impressive start-to-finish effort, center Ryan O’Reilly said he felt differently.

For one of the few times this season, the Sabres were in total control late, cruising to a victory instead of trying to eke one out or overcome a deficit.

“It’s been a while since we kind of had that feeling, last 10 minutes ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has produced offense this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo thrilled with NHL All-Star selection

BUFFALO – So far, just 39 games into his career here, Kyle Okposo has lived up to his billing as one of the NHL’s most underrated scorers. The winger has quietly been the Sabres’ most consistent forward, compiling 12 goals and 27 points, both team highs.

Okposo’s strong season was rewarded Tuesday with a spot in the NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his 10-year career. The Minnesota native will represent the Atlantic ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner has played 27 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner out against Flyers; Update: Derek Grant on waivers

BUFFALO – The flu bug going around the Sabres dressing room has hit goalie Robin Lehner, so the Swede will miss tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Backup Anders Nilsson will sub, his third start in four games. Expect a goalie, most likely Linus Ullmark, to be recalled. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma wouldn’t confirm Ullmark was coming up, however.

Update: Ullmark has officially been recalled.

Bylsma said no other players are sick.

With ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons finally scored a goal at home Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons scoring goals, finding confidence

BUFFALO – Almost six minutes into the third period Saturday afternoon, Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons kicked the puck along the boards and quickly headed to the net.

A second later, he knocked down Matt Moulson’s shot in front, skated across the crease and swept a backhander past Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, the tying goal in the Sabres’ raucous 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Then Girgensons, normally a calm presence, let loose with an emotional celebration, pumping ... Read the full article