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Rochester Americans

Nathan Lieuwen has struggled this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Closures from Winter Storm Knife have been blocking the quickest route from Rochester to Buffalo, the New York State Thruway.

So upon getting summoned to the NHL on Wednesday, Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen had to find a different path here.

“I kind of got some advice,” Lieuwen said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center.

Armed with a map, the 23-year-old took Route 104, a roadway close to Lake Ontario.

Lieuwen said his trip took about two hours and 45 minutes.

“Tried to get …

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Patrick Kaleta is stuck at home. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres practiced minus one player today, winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s stuck in his Hamburg home with Winter Storm Knife still decimating the area.

Update: Friday’s game against the New York Rangers has been postponed.

“Hockey seems like a very small thing when the city’s going through something that we’re going through right now,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re just hoping that not only Kaleta, but everybody gets out of …

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Brian Gionta had three points Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Outside the First Niagara Center, temperatures dipped into the low 20s and winds gusted up to 30 mph Tuesday. It was bone-chilling cold.

But there was very little snow on the ground downtown. The area immediately around the arena remained navigable all day. So did Buffalo’s Northtowns.

Just miles away, however, an early-season storm was annihilating the Southtowns.

Five feet fell in some areas. There was chaos everywhere. No one could budge.

Still, the Sabres played on, beating the San Jose Sharks …

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Mike Weber fights Steve Downie on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Following an embarrassing 5-0 loss eight days ago in Pittsburgh, defenseman Mike Weber passionately called for more anger and intensity from the reeling Sabres.

The gritty Weber sat out the next night, the first of three straight healthy scratches. The 26-year-old, an emotional presence, hadn’t missed a game since Dec. 10.

The Pittsburgh native played again in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Penguins inside the First Niagara Center.

“It was extremely tough,” Weber said Saturday morning about sitting out. “So I …

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Tyson Strachan has played four games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Watching nine of the first 10 games as a healthy scratch, waiting 16 days in between appearances, well, that’s nothing new for Sabres defenseman Tyson Strachan.

Welcome to the life of an NHL journeyman.

Strachan, a 30-year-old veteran of 142 games, said he once sat about two and a half months with St. Louis early in his career.

“It’s tough,” said Strachan, who had two assists in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings inside the First Niagara Center. …

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Johan Larsson has eight points with Rochester. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As expected, the reeling Sabres, losers of three straight games, will change their lineup for this afternoon’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Slick winger Johan Larsson has been summoned from Rochester to replace Marcus Foligno, who got “banged up” in Saturday’s 5-0 loss in Pittsburgh, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

In addition, 19-year-old rookie Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch 11 times this season, and Andrej Meszaros, a scratch the last two games, will play defense. Andre Benoit and Mike …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has four goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needed some time to adjust. Getting demoted to the AHL wasn’t easy. The 20-year-center impressed during the NHL training camp, igniting speculation he could earn a roster spot.

But the rebuilding Sabres wanted the slick Russian to develop in Rochester, where he could receive loads of ice time, so they assigned him to the Americans on Oct. 6.

“It was probably tough a few days,” Grigorenko said Wednesday about acclimating to the AHL again. “It’s a …

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Nikita Zadorov (51) has been scratched all six games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
7

BUFFALO – The complicated situation involving Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov, a healthy scratch all six games this season, could be resolved in the next 48 hours, the Russian’s agent said Sunday night.

The Sabres have essentially been stashing the 19-year-old prospect on their roster.

Here’s the issue: Zadorov, as a European, can’t be sent back to the London Knights, his junior team, because he doesn’t have a release from the Russian club that owns his rights. The Sabres don’t believe Zadorov’s ready …

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Sam Reinhart was selected No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Naturally, Sabres center Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 pick in June, wants to play against Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the No. 1 pick, tonight.

The prospects don’t have much of a rivalry, though.

“Not the fact the fact that we’re one and two, it’s the fact that I know him very well,” Reinhart said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re pretty good friends.”

The two once roomed together at a Team Canada event. They also got to know …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s face was mangled.

“Broke a bunch of things in there,” the oft-injured Sabres winger said Thursday following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

Kaleta said doctors inserted three plates and 14 screws after a shot hit him in the face during a Sept. 28 preseason game in Toronto. The 28-year-old has experienced blurred vision and migraines.

Still, less than three weeks after the scary incident, the Angola native is on the road back to game action. He skated with …

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