Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Pittsburgh Penguins

The Sabres picked Sam Reinhart No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – When general manager Tim Murray told Sam Reinhart, his top prospect, the Buffalo Sabres would be sending him back to junior, the 18-year-old handled the difficult news well.

But a few minutes later, the disappointment of leaving the First Niagara Center to begin his long trip back to the Kootenay Ice overwhelmed Reinhart.

“He was emotional,” Murray said Friday. “I guess he was emotional walking out of the rink.”

Murray understands Reinhart’s reaction. The No. 2 pick in June spent more …

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Nikita Zadorov has been a regular scratch. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – With Sam Reinhart sent back to junior Friday, Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray can concentrate on another teenage prospect, defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

“I don’t want to start juggling five balls,” Murray said inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing Zadorov on their roster until they find a place for him to play. The 19-year-old has played only one of the first 11 games.

Since Zadorov doesn’t have a release from his Russian team, the Sabres lose …

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Christian Ehrhoff will be a free agent again in a year. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff lasted less than 10 minutes on the open market, signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins early this afternoon.

The Sabres bought out the final seven seasons of the German’s 10-year, $40 million contract Sunday.

It’s a win-win deal for Ehrhoff. He’s joining a slick, superstar-laden Penguins club expected to compete for the Stanley Cup. He’ll get plenty of ice time with superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Ehrhoff posted huge numbers playing with …

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Tyler Ennis skates Wednesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Ennis said he recently stopped thinking on the ice. That isn’t a bad thing, though. The slick Sabres center has just been playing more instinctively under interim coach Ted Nolan, allowing his natural talents to take over these past few months.

It’s showing on the score sheet. With an assist on Drew Stafford’s first-period goal in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ennis has four goals and 12 points in the last 13 games.

“That’s the biggest thing. …

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Dan Bylsma instructs his players this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tonight’s not an audition for Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, Dan Bylsma said. A spectacular performance won’t sway the Pittsburgh Penguins coach into starting the American at the upcoming Sochi Games.

“Oh, goodness, I don’t think so, either way,” Bylsma, Team USA’s Olympic coach, said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Tonight’s not the only body of work from Ryan. He’s played really well this year. He’s played really well in some different circumstances. He doesn’t have a lot …

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Chad Ruhwedel sat last game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers will likely miss tonight’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins after leaving Monday’s game early.

Myers (lower body) didn’t participate in the Sabres’ optional skate this morning. The 24-year-old could play Thursday in Ottawa, interim coach Ted Nolan said.

“It doesn’t look very good for tonight,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “Hopefully, he’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, a healthy scratch last game, will return. Center Zenon Konopka and winger Ville Leino will be …

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Ryan Miller played his first game in Buffalo on Nov. 22, 2002. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Forget about the Olympics for a moment. Forget that Sabres goalie Ryan Miller will be playing in front of Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma tonight, a final chance to impress his bench boss at the upcoming Sochi Games.

Tonight could be Miller’s last appearance with the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center.

Rosters freeze 3 p.m. Friday for the NHL’s two-week Olympic break. The trade deadline hits one month from today.

Miller, an unrestricted free agent following the season, still hasn’t …

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Tyler Myers was hurt Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan said defenseman Tyler Myers is day-to-day and “a lot better than we thought” after a lower-body injury forced him out of Monday’s 3-2 loss to Edmonton.

Myers could play tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.

Naturally, Nolan, who said Myers “was moving around real good” Tuesday, is relieved

“Some guys get banged up,” he said. “But he looked like he was hurt (Monday) night.”

Meanwhile, Mike Weber is a “little bit beat up” …

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Ryan Miller made 31 saves Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – Despite one win in 15 starts this trying season, it appeared Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth would get Monday’s nod inside the Consol Energy Center.

The backup possesses strong career numbers against the mighty Penguins, who give franchise netminder Ryan Miller fits like no other team.

Besides, the Washington Capitals, a team Miller has dominated lately, are visiting the First Niagara Center tonight.

But Ted Nolan coach doesn’t care about Miller’s awful numbers against Pittsburgh.

“I just know how good he is,” …

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Brooks Orpik (44) will represent Team USA at the upcoming Sochi Games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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PITTSBURGH – Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, a member of Team USA’s Olympic squad, said athletes aren’t that concerned about their own safety for the upcoming Sochi Games.

“It’s more they’re concerned over their family members going because they’re not in the village,” Orpik said Monday prior to the Penguins’ 3-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres inside the Consol Energy Center. “We’ve been pretty assured they’re going to be safe where they are. It’s one of those unfortunate things. That’s just the …

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