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Philadelphia Flyers

Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth stops Philadelphia's Chris VandeVelde on Sunday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – There was no easing Zach Bogosian into the lineup or letting him get acclimated to Sabres’ systems. Coach Ted Nolan threw the aggressive defenseman headfirst into the fray, skating his newest addition a game-high 24 minutes, 49 seconds in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Bogosian responded, recording 11 hits, the Sabres’ highest total this season.

“That’s the way I like to play,” Bogosian said. “I felt good to get out there.”

Bogosian, a key piece in Wednesday’s blockbuster trade …

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Johan Larsson's comments last month upset Sabres coach Ted Nolan. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As the Sabres trickled out on the ice Sunday morning, coach Ted Nolan and winger Johan Larsson skated around and talked about the prospect’s latest recall.

Upon getting demoted to Rochester in early January, Larsson voiced his displeasure with having to skate on the fourth line in the NHL, a complaint that irked Nolan.

“Yeah, I was upset,” Nolan said. “Players play. The tail can’t wag the dog.”

So Nolan gave Larsson a direct message during their brief chat prior to …

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Johan Larsson didn't like his linemates his last trip up. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The lower-body injury Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges has been nursing could sideline the veteran for a while.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wouldn’t say Gorges’ season is over, however.

“I’m not too sure about that,” Nolan said this morning after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll see. He’s going to get a second opinion.”

Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta, meanwhile, had played 21 consecutive games, a long streak for the oft-injured agitator. But …

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Zach Bogosian grew up in Massena. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The mood on the ice inside HarborCenter belied the Sabres’ sorry state. Players laughed and had fun throughout Saturday’s up-tempo practice, the end of another trying week for the rebuilding club.

For some, the session, the first with new Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, was therapeutic.

“We got a good group of guys,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “They give us what they have every day. They’re trying to keep their spirits up as best we can. There’s problems outside the …

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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
1

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
1

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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