Rasmus Ristolainen skates away from Detroit's Darren Helm on Oct. 24. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen out tonight

Rasmus Ristolainen will miss tonight’s road tilt against the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury, meaning four of the Buffalo Sabres’ top defensemen are now injured.

Ristolainen, the NHL’s leader in ice time with 27 minutes, 10 seconds a game, is day-to-day, Sabres coach Phil Housley told reporters in Dallas. The Finn was hurt in Thursday’s 5-4 road win against the Arizona Coyotes.... Read the full article

Matt Tennyson signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on July 1. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Defense injuries give Sabres’ Matt Tennyson opportunity

BUFFALO – As a depth defenseman for four seasons, Sabres newcomer Matt Tennyson often played sparingly during his frequent recalls to the NHL.

In a career-high 45 games with the Carolina Hurricanes a year ago, Tennyson, 27, hit the 18-minute mark once.

But these days, Tennyson is one of coach Phil Housley’s most trusted defensemen. In Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks, Tennyson played just over 21 minutes, his highest total since ... Read the full article

Kyle Okpso (21) battles San Jose's Brent Burns on Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Short break gives Sabres chance to rest

BUFFALO – Thanks to a load of games – the Sabres and six other teams have played an NHL-high 12 contests – a rare four-day break materialized early in the schedule.

The 3-7-2 Sabres don’t play again until Thursday in Arizona. So this morning, fresh off Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 home loss to San Jose, the Sabres enjoyed a lighter practice, focusing on skill.

“Today was kind of meant to be more a little bit ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) celebrates his disallowed goal Saturday afternoon. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Tight loss to Sharks frustrates Sabres, Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – The frustration of another tight loss and his missed opportunities overwhelmed Jack Eichel on Saturday afternoon, and as the Sabres center walked to the dressing room on his 21st birthday, he snapped his stick over his leg.

Early in the 3-2 loss, Eichel celebrated emphatically after his power-play goal appeared to tie the game. But the San Jose Sharks challenged, and after a long delay, officials ruled center Sam Reinhart interfered with goalie ... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot scored his first goal Saturday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Benoit Pouliot moving around

BUFFALO – When the Sabres signed Benoit Pouliot to a one-year contract July 1, it was expected they would utilize the veteran as a utility winger all over the lineup.

Sure enough, nine games into the season, Pouliot has already skated on a slew of lines.

In Saturday’s 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win in Boston, Pouliot mostly played at left wing with center Ryan O’Reilly and Jason Pominville, a top scoring trio. Pouliot scored his ... Read the full article

Taylor Fedun came up from Rochester this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Injuries force Sabres to recall Taylor Fedun; Chad Johnson to start

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ rash of injuries forced them to recall Taylor Fedun this morning. Will the defenseman play tonight against the Vancouver Canucks?

“I was the odd man out in practice today, so I assume I will not be,” Fedun said this morning after skating inside KeyBank Center.

The 1-4-2 Sabres are so banged up, they summoned Fedun from the Rochester Americans just so they have an extra player tonight.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart played three games at center. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres move struggling Sam Reinhart

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart’s run at center lasted three games.

Following two wretched losses in which opponents outscored the Sabres 12-5, coach Phil Housley, as expected, mixed up his lines and defense pairs Wednesday, making changes to every combination.

Most notably, Reinhart, who moved to his natural position in training camp, skated at right wing again, his spot most of the last two years. Housley also yanked from Reinhart off the power play. Reinhart has ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian was injured late in the preseason. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres switch up lines; Zach Bogosian not traveling with team

BUFFALO – Following two wretched losses in which opponents outscored the Sabres 12-5, coach Phil Housley, as expected, mixed up his lines and defense pairs today, making changes to every combination.

“You change the lines to try to get the other guys going or maybe there’s some chemistry you’re looking for,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “That’s why I made that change today. They could change tomorrow.”

The 0-2-1 Sabres face the ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville played his first game with the Sabres since April 2, 2013 on Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jason Pominville still producing offense at 34

BUFFALO – At first glance, it appears Sabres winger Jason Pominville has been declining since hitting the prestigious 30-goal mark four years ago.

Statistical drops are usually inevitable as players progress into their 30s, and Pominville, 34, has experienced one, failing to reach 20 goals or 60 points the last three seasons.

In his first eight NHL seasons of 70 or more games, Pominville averaged 26 goals and 64 points. In the last two campaigns, ... Read the full article

The Sabres named Jack Eichel an alternate captain Thursday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to spread leadership around

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill wasn’t kidding when he said he believes leadership is a collaborative effort.

Thursday morning, hours before their season opener, the Sabres named four alternate captains: defenseman Zach Bogosian and forwards Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

Botterill said Wednesday the Sabres wouldn’t begin the season with a captain.... Read the full article