Toronto's Chris Mueller, a West Seneca native, tries to convert a chance in front of Rochester goalie Scott Wedgewood on Friday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks can’t convert early chances, fall to Marlies in playoff opener

ROCHESTER – For the opening 25 minutes of Friday’s first-round playoff opener, the Americans blitzed the Toronto Marlies, beating goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo four times.

Of course, the puck never actually went in the net. The Amerks rattled it off the post or crossbar four times. They missed empty nets, a breakaway and pumped 15 shots on goal in the first period.

So instead of seizing a commanding lead, the Amerks let the Marlies hang around ... Read the full article

Los Angeles could hire Todd McLellan. ©2019, Hickling Images

Report: Todd McLellan won’t be Sabres’ next coach

Todd McLellan won’t be the Buffalo Sabres’ next coach, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Sabres identified McLellan as a candidate and talked to him this week but never made an offer, McKenzie tweeted this afternoon. McLellan was in Buffalo to watch his son, Tyson, a junior defenseman with Denver, compete in the Frozen Four.

The Los Angeles Kings could be close to hiring McLellan, according to McKenzie.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill will head overseas next month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Botterill reluctant to talk about coaching search

BUFFALO – Out of respect for Phil Housley, the coach he fired hours earlier Sunday, Jason Botterill wouldn’t reveal what he’s looking for in a replacement. The Sabres general manager did, however, say a search has already started.

“Those are things I’m not going to talk about too much right now, and the simple fact is I just had a conversation with Phil Housley a couple of hours ago,” Botterill said Sunday afternoon inside KeyBank ... Read the full article

The Sabres ranked first overall in late November. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ awful second half led to Phil Housley’s dismissal

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Phil Housley lasted two seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres fire coach Phil Housley

BUFFALO – The Sabres fired Phil Housley this afternoon, less than a day after the team completed a disappointing season in which it fell from first overall in late November to sixth in the Atlantic Division.

Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like Housley would return for a third season unless the team totally imploded down the stretch.

Well, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander recently caught fire in Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready to seize chance in NHL

BUFFALO – On Feb. 27, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander played his 13th straight game without scoring a goal. At that point, nearly five months into his third AHL campaign, the chances of the slick winger earning a recall looked slim.

Nylander, 21, enjoyed a strong training camp this season, nearly forcing the Sabres to keep him. The Swede parlayed that into a terrific start with the Rochester Americans, scoring six goals and 17 points ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 28 saves Saturday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks sharp in Sabres debut

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is likely years away from cracking the Sabres.

The goalie prospect is just beginning his North American junior career with the Sudbury Wolves. After that, Luukkonen will probably need years of apprenticeship in the minors.

But Sabres got a glimpse of Luukkonen, a youngster many have tabbed as their goalie of the future, in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.... Read the full article

Will Borgen was a fourth-round pick in 2015. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Will Borgen showcasing physicality in rookie camp

BUFFALO – On the ice, Sabres defense prospect Will Borgen often looks like a beast, throwing his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame around and rattling opponents.

Borgen showcased his physicality throughout Friday’s 6-4 win inside noisy HarborCenter, throttling some New Jersey Devils and drawing their ire in the Prospects Challenge opener.

“He really enjoyed it,” coach Chris Taylor said. “Obviously, the fans brought that out for him. They were cheering for him, the big hit.”... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin scored two goals Friday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Rasmus Dahlin wows in Sabres debut

BUFFALO – The roar lasted until defenseman Rasmus Dahlin reached the bench to celebrate the first of his two goals with his Sabres teammates.

Fans packed HarborCenter on Friday looking for a show from the first overall pick in his rookie camp exhibition debut.

So when Dahlin rewarded them, scoring his first goal 11:18 into the second period, the capacity crowd kept cheering for the young star.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander has played seven NHL games. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Alexander Nylander showcasing maturity, acting like leader

BUFFALO – In a matter of minutes, coach Chris Taylor noticed a different, more mature Alexander Nylander. Instead of taking a backseat, the slick Sabres prospect started his third pro season acting like a leader.

During the first session of rookie camp Thursday, Nylander, 20, showcased his newfound confidence, leading practice drills.

“He’s leading, he’s going to the front of the lines now,” Taylor said inside HarborCenter. “Before he’d go second, third, maybe last ... Read the full article