Alexander Nylander played his fifth NHL game Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Productive stretch earns Alexander Nylander recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly takes a faceoff Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Phil Housley expects ‘electric’ atmosphere in Nashville

BUFFALO – By the end of Phil Housley’s run with the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena had morphed into perhaps the NHL’s noisiest rink.

A thrilling run to the Stanley Cup final can do that.

So in addition to facing the league’s best team in Housley’s return to Nashville tonight, the last-place Sabres must also deal with a raucous crowd.

“Saturday night in Nashville – any night – but mostly Saturday night, it’s really a tough ... Read the full article

Adam Wilcox has sported a Sabres mask all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Adam Wilcox grew up rooting for Dominik Hasek, Sabres

BUFFALO – Early in goalie Adam Wilcox’s childhood, the NHL hadn’t returned to Minnesota yet. So the South St. Paul resident began cheering for legendary goalie Dominik Hasek and, ironically, his newest team.

“Minnesota didn’t have a team, so I always rooted for Hasek and the Sabres,” the loquacious Wilcox said today after the Sabres recalled him from the AHL.

Wilcox, 25, spent time in the NHL last season, dressing as a backup five times ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) drives past Detroit's Justin Abdelkader on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt records assist in debut, Sabres lose to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt’s first NHL point wasn’t created by his dynamic speed, adroit passing or supreme hockey sense.

No, 4:51 in the third period of Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the hapless Detroit Red Wings, Mittelstadt, 19, simply won a draw cleanly back to linemate Evan Rodrigues, who beat goalie Jimmy Howard to get the Sabres within one goal.

One game, one assist for the eighth overall pick in 2017.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt signed his entry-level contract earlier this week. ©2018, University of Minnesota Athletics

Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt ready for NHL debut

BUFFALO – As puck drop approaches, Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt said he might experience some nerves.

“It might be a bit of a long day,” the speedy center said this morning after preparing for his NHL debut, tonight’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings.

Still, hours before the game, the Sabres’ top prospect seemed unfazed by the life-changing day and all the attention being paid to him.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt hasn't played a game in weeks. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Warm welcome helps Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt

BUFFALO – Right away, center Casey Mittelstadt’s new teammates reached out and welcomed the slick prospect to the Sabres.

So shortly after Mittelstadt signed his entry-level contract Tuesday, center Jack Eichel took him to lunch. Hours later, winger Sam Reinhart had dinner with Mittelstadt, his new linemate.

Mittelstadt, 19, will make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings inside KeyBank Center. In a miserable season widely regarded as the franchise’s worst ever, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt played one season at Minnesota. ©2018, University of Minnesota Athletics

Win, Casey Mittelstadt’s arrival puts jump in Sabres’ step

BUFFALO – It’s amazing what beating one of the NHL’s best teams, a day off and adding your top prospect can do.

During this morning’s practice, the Sabres’ first with slick center Casey Mittelstadt, the last-place team showcased more energy than they have in weeks.

“Well, that helps when you win a game and you get a day off and you come back and you feel a lot better about yourself, and especially the ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson has been skating on a scoring line. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson wants to showcase offense

BUFFALO – A year ago, Sabres winger Scott Wilson compiled eight goals and 26 points in 78 games often skating short minutes on one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ bottom lines.

The numbers, of course, don’t exactly wow you. But in a low-scoring era, most fourth-liners don’t push 10 goals or 30 points.

So what could the speedy Wilson do if, say, he earned more ice time on a scoring line?

In recent weeks, Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Nashville's P.K. Subban (76) hounds Justin Bailey on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to move Justin Bailey beside Jack Eichel against Coyotes

BUFFALO – These final weeks of another forgettable Sabres season are about playing for pride and experimenting. So even when things go well, coach Phil Housley might try something new.

For example, over the last two games, the line of Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues showcased its chemistry and speed. But tonight against the Arizona Coyotes, Bailey will skate at left wing beside top center Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo.... Read the full article

Evan Rodriges (71) has looked strong beside friend and teammate Nick Baptiste. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could utilize speedy line of youngsters in future

BUFFALO – In parts of three AHL seasons together, Sabres forwards Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues never skated together as linemates.

Bailey and Baptiste both played right wing with the Rochester Americans. Meanwhile, Rodrigues, a center these days, mostly skated as a winger.

So while the three prospects became close friends, they never showcased their talents together on the ice until Saturday afternoon.... Read the full article