Evander Kane (9) keeps the puck away from Colorado's Carl Soderberg on Thursday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres buckle down, beat Avalanche

BUFFALO – At times, Thursday’s 2-0 win probably felt a bit unsettling for the Sabres. The woeful Colorado Avalanche, the NHL’s worst team, isn’t just bad.

The club’s on pace to be one of the worst this century.

So it was hardly surprising the Sabres mostly had their way with the Avalanche. Still, after two periods, they had a 21-11 shot advantage but only a 1-0 lead thanks to Sam Reinhart’s power-play goal.

Colorado, which ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues grew up cheering for the Maple Leafs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Toronto debut special for Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues

TORONTO – Growing up in Etobicoke, about a 20-minute drive from the Air Canada Centre, Alexander Mogilny’s talents mesmerized Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues.

By the early 2000s, long after his dynamic 76-goal season with the Sabres in 1992-93, Mogilny was still an electrifying presence for some strong Maple Leafs teams.

“He was always trying something new,” Rodrigues said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 win against the Leafs. “He always made some real ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Evan Rodrigues' fifth NHL game. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Evan Rodrigues again; Cody Franson out 2-3 weeks

TORONTO – This afternoon, hours before his fifth NHL game, Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues couldn’t stop smiling.

“He’s always all smiles,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said inside the Air Canada Centre.

True, Rodrigues, 23, always seems to be grinning. But tonight’s tilt, which will be broadcast across Canada on “Hockey Night in Canada,” is extra special for Rodrigues, who grew up a Maple Leafs fan in Etobicoke, about 20 minutes from Toronto.

“It’s going ... Read the full article

Cody Franson has 16 points this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cody Franson out after blocking shot

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Cody Franson blocked a shot in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Anaheim and will miss this weekend’s games, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Franson, who needs to be evaluated, was wearing a walking boot on his left foot and using a crutch to walk today inside KeyBank Center, where the Sabres had an off-ice workout instead of practicing at HarborCenter.

The Sabres play Saturday in Toronto and host Vancouver on Sunday.

For a ... Read the full article

The Sabres reclaimed Derek Grant on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Derek Grant happy back with Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres center Derek Grant thought he had finally scored that elusive first NHL goal Jan. 17 in Vancouver, his hometown.

Scoring opportunities have been scarce for Grant, but a golden one materialized with a loose puck in the crease against the Canucks, one of six games he played with the Nashville Predators.

Grant furiously whacked away at the puck as goalie Ryan Miller tried to cover it up. He eventually put it in ... Read the full article

The Sabres got Derek Grant back on Monday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Derek Grant searching for first NHL goal

BUFFALO – Sabres center Derek Grant thought he had finally scored that elusive first NHL goal Jan. 17 in Vancouver, his hometown.

Scoring opportunities have been scarce for Grant, but a golden one materialized with a loose puck in the crease against the Canucks, one of six games he played with the Nashville Predators.

Grant furiously whacked away at the puck as goalie Ryan Miller tried to cover it up. He eventually put it in ... Read the full article

Evander Kane (9) is upended as he attempts to drive between Toronto’s Roman Polak (46) and goalie Frederik Andersen on Jan. 17. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane questionable; Derek Grant, Evan Rodrigues recalled

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Evander Kane joked he crashed into his “favorite wall” after scoring the overtime winner in Tuesday’s 5-4 thriller against San Jose.

After his 16th goal secured the Sabres’ most unlikely victory this season, Kane hit the boards hard behind the net, his face and his right hand taking most of the impact.

Kane, who’s questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, also broke four ribs crashing into those same boards ... Read the full article

Cal O'Reill skates Saturday in his first NHL game this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Cal O’Reilly’s hot start with Amerks rewarded

BUFFALO – Some heads turned when the Sabres awarded center Cal O’Reilly, a talented minor leaguer almost four years removed from his last NHL game, a two-year, $1.4 million contract in 2015.

But O’Reilly, the AHL’s leading scorer, has morphed into a valuable asset for the organization, captaining the Rochester Americans and providing depth for the Sabres.

O’Reilly, 30, proved that Saturday just hours after earning a recall, scoring the shootout winner in the ... Read the full article

Josh Gorges (4) battles with Pittsburgh's Scott Wilson on Feb. 21. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Josh Gorges takes pride in facing opposition’s best

BUFFALO – About 20 times tonight, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges will jump over the boards to take on arguably the toughest task in hockey, trying to stop Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.

Gorges will probably spend around 20 minutes defending Crosby and his linemates, a stiff challenge the 12-year veteran embraces.

To Gorges, the dynamic Crosby is the NHL’s best player, someone to measure yourself against.

“He just does things no one else can do,” ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly has missed three games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly still sidelined

BUFFALO – A couple of quick updates from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres practiced this morning after Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay:

– Top center Ryan O’Reilly, out of the last three games with a mid-body injury, didn’t practice today or even skate on his own, coach Dan Bylsma said. O’Reilly is day-to-day but is doubtful for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh.

– Bylsma said the lower-back injury defenseman Dmitry Kulikov suffered late in ... Read the full article