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

Josh Gorges represented Team Canada in 2004. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

World Junior memories special for Sabres’ Josh Gorges

BUFFALO – By 2003-04, Josh Gorges’ last junior season, the Sabres defenseman started developing into an interesting NHL prospect.

After going undrafted in 2002, the San Jose Sharks quickly awarded Gorges an entry-level contract. Buoyed by that confidence, Gorges went on a two-year tear with the Kelowna Rockets, becoming one of the Western Hockey League’s best players.

Still, Gorges, then 19, was hardly a lock to crack Team Canada’s entry at the 2004 World Junior ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues had a two-goal game Dec. 10. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues likely out against Flyers

BUFFALO – Technically, according to Sabres coach Phil Housley, forward Evan Rodrigues is a game-time decision for tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers.

But expect the speedy Rodrigues to skate in the warm-up … and then get scratched for the first time this season.

Based on Housley’s lines the last two days, newcomer Scott Wilson will return tonight after sitting out Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Boston as a healthy scratch.... 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

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

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