Nick Deslauriers has a two-game point streak. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers finally playing, contributing

BUFFALO – When Sabres coach Dan Bylsma charged Nick Deslauriers with creating some energy, the gritty winger’s first instinct, of course, was to fight.

But these days, those opportunities are scarce. Deslauriers has only fought four times this season. He certainly wasn’t going to find one enjoying a rare shift on the first line with the listless Sabres down three goals Saturday.

“I would’ve loved to get a fight there, but I don’t think ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has played 15 NHL games. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues earning keep

BUFFALO – On a team featuring 11 veterans earning more than $3 million, Evan Rodrigues, a rookie 15 games into his NHL career, was arguably the Sabres’ best player during two wretched road losses last weekend.

Let that sink in.

“It’s a little disappointing Rodrigues is one of our best players,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Wednesday. “It’s great for him. But I’m not sure that’s what should’ve happened in those two games.”... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has become a regular center. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues now NHL regular

BUFFALO – On a team featuring 11 veterans earning more than $3 million, Evan Rodrigues, a rookie 14 games into his NHL career, was arguably the Sabres’ best player during two wretched road losses last weekend.

“It’s a little disappointing Rodrigues is one of our best players,” Sabres general manager Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great for him. But I’m not sure that’s what should’ve happened in those two games.”

Still, the ... 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

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

Evan Rodrigues (71) wheels around Colorado's Cody Goloubef on Feb. 16. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres add recalls; Derek Grant sent to Amerks

BUFFALO – With the Sabres set to practice tonight in Colorado following a bye week, the team has recalled forwards Justin Bailey and Evan Rodrigues from the AHL.

The rookies spent four days back with the Rochester Americans, playing one game, Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win at KeyBank Center.

To make room, the Sabres sent center Derek Grant to the Amerks. Grant has zero goals and three assists in 40 games with the Sabres this season. ... Read the full article

Vaclav Karabacek scored his third AHL goal Wednesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Vaclav Karabacek slowly finding game with Amerks

BUFFALO – For an AHL team mired in 13th place in a 14-team conference, the Rochester Americans possess some impressive young forward talent.

Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Evan Rodrigues just returned from successful NHL stints. Hudson Fasching made the Sabres out of camp. If he hadn’t suffered a groin injury early on, he likely would’ve earned more NHL action. And while Alexander Nylander, 18, has struggled recently, the eighth overall pick is ... 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

Nick Baptiste beats St. Louis goalie Jake Allen on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Nick Baptiste scores early in return to Sabres

BUFFALO – A positive trend has developed in the last few months for the Sabres. Each time they recall one of their forward prospects from the Rochester Americans, the youngsters make a strong case to stick around.

Rookies Justin Bailey, William Carrier and Evan Rodrigues have all seized their opportunities and started earning regular NHL duty.

After speedy winger Nick Baptiste’s impressive performance in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues – ... Read the full article