Chris Stewart zooms toward the net Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Michal Neuvirth struggles, Chris Stewart shines in Sabres’ preseason loss to Leafs

BUFFALO – If this keeps up, the battle to become the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie could be over soon.

Michal Neuvirth performed poorly in his first preseason action, making only 16 saves in the Sabres’ 6-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday inside the First Niagara Center.

The Leafs scored on four of their first seven shots and five of the first 12.

“A tough game, not a lot of shots,” Neuvirth said. ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller has looked impressive this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tim Schaller to make preseason debut

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan knew very little about Sabres prospect Tim Schaller prior to training camp. The center hasn’t dazzled the coach, but his play away from the puck has been catching Nolan’s eye.

“I just thought his hockey intelligence was evident to a few of us,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He kept doing it day after day after day. We just felt that he deserves an opportunity.”

Schaller, an ... Read the full article

Colton Gillies couldn't find work during the summer. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks’ Colton Gillies hoping impressive AHL season leads to another NHL gig

ROCHESTER – The summer dragged on and on, and Colton Gillies, a former first-round pick with 154 games of big league experience, couldn’t find any work.

Gillies was still months away from turning 25. He had just spent two straight seasons in the NHL. At 6-foot-4, he possessed size, a precious commodity, yet skating was his biggest asset.

Still, no one wanted him.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Gillies said Saturday after a gritty ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller scored seven goals in the final seven regular-season games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tim Schaller developing into all-around talent with Amerks

ROCHESTER – On April 5, the Americans began the third period of a pivotal late-season tilt trailing the Marlies 3-0. Twenty minutes later, buoyed by fourth-line center Tim Schaller’s natural hat trick, they had rallied for a stunning 4-3 victory in Toronto.

Schaller had four goals in 65 AHL games before scoring three times in a 14-minute stretch.

“I didn’t think it would ever happen, but it did,” Schaller said last week inside the Blue ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno has three goals in two preseason outings. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Marcus Foligno impressing Sabres again early after forgettable season

BUFFALO – When Marcus Foligno’s dismal, five-goal season ended in April, the 22-year-old could’ve laid the blame on others or taken responsibility, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said.

“Whether they think it’s me or them, ultimately they got to make that change, and I think he took that ownership on that,” Rolston said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-2 exhibition shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs before a capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the ... Read the full article

Corey Tropp was injured Oct. 15. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Tropp healed and playing again

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Corey Tropp, thought to be done for the season after suffering ligament damage in his right knee playing for Rochester opening night, made a surprising return to the Americans’ lineup Friday in their 4-1 home loss to the Toronto Marlies.

Tropp damaged the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament Oct. 15 after scoring twice in the Amerks’ 6-5 win over the Syracuse Crunch.

The 23-year-old winger underwent surgery later ... Read the full article