Sidney Crosby respects Thomas Vanek's game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crosby believes ‘a lot of different things’ make Sabres superstar Vanek great

BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering Sunday’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.

Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.

“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said this afternoon following the Penguins’ practice inside the First Niagara Center.

In Crosby’s mind, what makes ... Read the full article

Andrej Sekera will likely miss Sunday's game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sekera likely out for Penguins game

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera, who left Friday’s 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins after suffering a charley horse midway through the third period, will likely miss Sunday afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He’s doing OK today,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “I’d say doubtful for tomorrow.”

It’s likely Mike Weber will return to the lineup after getting scratched Friday.

The Sabres just dealt ... Read the full article

©2012

Pens hault scorching Sabres’ winning streak at 5 games

BUFFALO – At the 11:43 mark of the second period Friday, slick Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby zoomed into the Sabres zone, slowed down at the top of the right circle and dished perfectly across the ice to a streaking James Neal, who beat goalie Ryan Miller to make it 3-2 on the power play.

Fresh off five straight convincing wins, the Sabres looked unstoppable, like they might run the table and roar into the ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ Hodgson getting accustomed to new city, team

BUFFALO – Cody Hodgson said he loves exploring cities. On the road, where he’s on pace to play an NHL-record 48 games this season, the 22-year-old Sabres center tries to see all the sights.

Hodgson just visited Times Square last week prior to his first game in New York. The Toronto native rates Dallas – sorry, Sabres fans – and Nashville among his favorite cities.

One day recently, Hodgson hopped in his rental car and ... Read the full article

Superstar Sidney Crosby hasn't played in Buffalo since Dec. 11, 2010. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ critical late-season tilt against Pens could be wildly entertaining

BUFFALO – Give it a shot. Try drawing up a better late-season NHL matchup. The Sabres’ tilt against the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins tonight could make for a wildly entertaining three hours inside the First Niagara Center.

This one promises to be action-packed and fun, folks.

The scorching Sabres, having climbed into eighth place Tuesday, are roaring toward another unlikely playoff appearance. They’ve won five straight games and seven of the last nine, piling up goals ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres showcase early-season form, throttle Pens

BUFFALO – On Sunday morning, shortly before the Sabres began their 6-2 shellacking of Pittsburgh, coach Dan Bylsma recalled an earlier defeat the underachieving club had laid on the Penguins.

Back on Oct. 15, the Sabres’ tenacious effort during their 3-2 triumph in Pittsburgh impressed Bylsma, who saw an active, speedy team dictating the game.

Bylsma believed the Sabres would be “a real good team, real dangerous team.” Like many others, he’s stunned they’ve fallen ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ checking trio stymies potent Malkin line

BUFFALO – Rather than merely shadowing Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin and his wingers Sunday afternoon, Sabres center Paul Gaustad and his checking line planned to aggressively shut down one of the NHL’s best trios.

Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta – charged with stopping the NHL’s leading scorer, 30-goal man James Neal and Chris Kunitz – would dictate the play.

“We didn’t want to back off on them. If we backed off, it gives ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ power play struggling despite new additions

BUFFALO – Take the NHL’s No. 9 power play in 2010-11, and add Christian Ehrhoff, an elite point presence who possesses a lethal shot, and Brad Boyes, a forward proficient at pulling the trigger down low.

What do the Sabres have?

One of the league’s worst power plays.

Entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the First Niagara Center, the Sabres are four of the last 50 in 20 games since Jan. 3. ... Read the full article