Robin Lehner makes a save Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen ejected in Sabres’ loss to Penguins

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had a split-second decision to make as Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby dished the puck up to Jake Guentzel near their blue line early in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Penguins.

Ristolainen could lay back and play it safe, or he could assume the short pass would be completed and step up and throttle Guentzel.

The Finn went for the hit, but the pass was intercepted by teammate Zemgus Girgensons. ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) tries to stuff the puck past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Saturday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres roar back from early deficit, beat Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – As if the season-killing streak the Sabres have recently endured wasn’t bad enough, it looked like they might hit rock bottom again Saturday.

Early on, the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets simply outclassed the Sabres, opening a 3-0 first-period lead.

Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson, so good at home this season, performed terribly for 20 minutes. Defenseman Jake McCabe, one of the steadiest Sabres all season, struggled through perhaps the worst period of ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno (left) and Josh Gorges celebrate Foligno's empty-net goal Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shake off threat, beat Coyotes

BUFFALO – Following Thursday’s 6-3 win, a contest tighter than the score might indicate, winger Evander Kane bluntly assessed the current edition of the Arizona Coyotes, a hapless outfit the Sabres lost to earlier this week.

“They’re not a very good hockey team,” said Kane, who scored the winning goal 14:24 into the third period. “Let’s be real here.”

Well, they were good enough to beat the Sabres five days ago.

Despite ranking 29th overall, ... Read the full article

Dmity Kulikov has struggled all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Dmitry Kulikov close to getting scratched

BUFFALO – In his first and probably only season here, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has performed so poorly – the Russian has one goal, two points and a wretched minus-15 rating – the Sabres couldn’t even get a late-round pick for him before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

So for 19 more games, starting with tonight’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, the Sabres have Kulikov. Of course, that doesn’t mean coach Dan Bylsma will play him.

Kulikov, 26, ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma talks during Wednesday's practice. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray: Awful road trip players’ fault

BUFFALO – Despite a loss in their final outing before last week’s bye, the Sabres entered the short break playing perhaps their best hockey all season. For the first time in years, the playoffs, while still a long shot, felt like a possibility.

Then the schedule resumed with road games against Colorado and Arizona, the NHL’s two worst teams.

“We go out west and we just can’t play, and that’s to me squarely on ... Read the full article

Evander Kane skates today. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Trade deadline looms for Sabres

BUFFALO – Some trade deadline practice notes from KeyBank Center, where the media is gathered in the press room with a television tuned, of course, to TSN:

– Sporting some new lines, the Sabres practiced around 45 minutes today. Naturally, the looming deadline was felt a bit.

“A little of that lingers with an impending 3 o’clock deadline,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “But treat the situations and the players like they’re going to be ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played an AHL-high 42 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Linus Ullmark returns to Sabres’ net

BUFFALO – This campaign, Linus Ullmark’s second in North America, has turned into what the loquacious Sabres goalie thought his rookie season would be like.

“Maybe some call-ups, whatever,” said Ullmark, who will likely start tonight against the Nashville Predators inside KeyBank Center, his first NHL nod since April 9.

Update: Robin Lehner is healthy and will apparently start tonight. Ullmark isn’t dressed.

Early in 2015-16, after only a few AHL appearances following surgery on ... Read the full article

Evander Kane has enjoyed a terrific three-month stretch. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Slumping Sabres have assets to trade

BUFFALO – So what should the Sabres sell off before Wednesday’s trade deadline? After their most wrenching weekend in years, they can’t possibly be buyers, right?

Brutal road losses to the hapless Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes kicked them down the standings, effectively eliminating them from contention with 20 games left.

Desperate for wins, the Sabres couldn’t handle the NHL’s two worst teams. Think about that. Against the Coyotes, they frittered away a 2-0 third-period ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson is at his best around the net. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Matt Moulson moving around Sabres lineup

BUFFALO – Early in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, Sabres winger Matt Moulson skated as a fourth-liner beside fill-in center Nick Deslauriers and Tyler Ennis.

But Moulson, as he has all season, didn’t stay with the same linemates long inside KeyBank Center.

Jack Eichel filled in for Deslauriers, a winger with zero points this season. Moulson also played on the top power-play unit, a promotion with winger Sam Reinhart out.

Moulson, 33, has ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun played 25 games with the Sabres. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Blackhawks have Sabres’ number; Taylor Fedun assigned to Amerks

BUFFALO – Would you look at that. Thanks to a three-game winning streak, the Sabres have jumped up the standings to within two points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot and the last wild card spot entering tonight’s tilt with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Of course, teams with games in hand stand between them and those coveted spots. Still, the Sabres are finally starting to make a surge.

The Sabres have won three games in ... Read the full article