Nick Baptiste (13) skates away from his teammates after celebrating his game-winning goal Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Nick Baptiste stars in rare Sabres win over Blackhawks

BUFFALO – On a Sabres team filled with, well, not exactly the fastest players, winger Nick Baptiste’s speed stands out.

Slick skating has helped the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Baptiste finally earn regular NHL action three years into his pro career. But the former third-round pick has played 12 straight games because he has evolved and started figuring what can make him successful.... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu has four fights this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Nathan Beaulieu ‘big believer in fighting’

BUFFALO – In his NHL career, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has fought 12 times, or an average of once every 23 games.

Speed and other skills, of course, helped Beaulieu reach the big leagues. Still, he believes fighting is a vital part of his repertoire.

“I’m a big believer in fighting in hockey,” Beaulieu said prior to recording an assist in Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. “I feel like there’s a place ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (right) fights Toronto's Matt Martin on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start slowly, fall to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu’s decision to challenge one of the NHL’s toughest customers had the desired effect for the reeling Sabres.

With the Sabres down 2-0 just minutes into Thursday’s 5-2 loss, Beaulieu picked a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs heavyweight Matt Martin.

“Sometimes it’s just something you need to do,” Beaulieu said. “A lot of respect over there to give me that opportunity. He’s a tough customer. Just trying to wake the boys ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) fights Toronto's Nazem Kadri on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres start fast, beat Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – In an otherwise awful season, the Sabres and their fans can look forward to this: Monday’s entertaining 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs was just the first tilt between the longtime rivals.

The Sabres play the Leafs three more times over their next 13 contests. Just ask Leafs center Nazem Kadri.

Kadri appeared to correct Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen on the number of game left during an argument from their respective ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle was also recalled in January. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Brendan Guhle to utilize speed during recall

BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.

Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, the Sabres summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.

So the two haven’t played together for about two months. Tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Guhle, who was brought ... Read the full article

Evander Kane will almost certainly be traded. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Anything could be on table for Sabres at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Jason Botterill has never experienced a trade deadline like this one. Prior to joining the Sabres, the rookie general manager spent 10 seasons in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ front office, winning three Stanley Cups.

The Penguins contended for the Cup every season of Botterill’s tenure, meaning they loaded up for a long playoff run, dealing prospects and draft picks for talent that could help them immediately.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) celebrates his second-period goal with Evan Rodrigues (71) and Ryan O'Reilly (90) on Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

All-around effort pushes Sabres past Lightning for rare home win

BUFFALO – In the oddest of Sabres seasons, try figuring this one out: since top center Jack Eichel hurt his ankle Saturday, the NHL’s second-worst team has beaten the league’s two best.

In Tuesday’s 5-3 win against the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, terrific individual efforts, fine special teams play and a balanced attack buoyed the Sabres.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson has zero home wins this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson to start against Lightning

BUFFALO – Against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s top team, you figure the Sabres would start No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner, who has played 42 times this season.

But Lehner, fresh off Sunday’s 5-4 home loss to Colorado, will sit tonight for backup Chad Johnson.

Why start Johnson, who has just three wins and zero at home?... Read the full article

Scott Wilson occasionally gets promoted to a scoring line. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Scott Wilson moving around

BUFFALO – Early last season, Sabres winger Scott Wilson earned a coveted assignment beside Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.

But the gig didn’t last long for Wilson, a speedy bottom-six forward known more for his checking abilities.

“I played a little bit with Sid and I kind of changed the way I played,” Wilson said Sunday inside KeyBank Center. “That’s not what they were looking for.”

Later in the season, Wilson received another plum opportunity ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has been the Sabres' MVP this season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel’s absence will hurt Sabres

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s high right ankle sprain, an injury that will sideline the Sabres center indefinitely, hit the young star in the midst of a career-best stretch.

Eichel went on a tear beginning Dec. 1, morphing into one of the NHL’s most lethal scoring threats. His 15 goals and 34 points in 30 games since then both rank ninth overall.

The Sabres stand 30th in a 31-team league and have scored the second-fewest goals. ... Read the full article