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Archive:
Toronto Maple Leafs

Michal Neuvirth kept the Sabres in Tuesday's game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – It turns out that nice win three days earlier was an anomaly. The hapless Buffalo Sabres reverted back into a laughingstock in Tuesday’s embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, getting thoroughly dominated throughout their eighth loss in 10 tries this season.

How ugly was Buffalo’s effort?

The Sabres, three weeks into their 44th season, sprinkled a franchise-low 10 shots on Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier. The Leafs, meanwhile, pumped 37 shots on Sabres netminder Michal Neuvirth.

“I don’t know who we …

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Chris Stewart began his NHL career in 2008-09. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Incredibly, Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, Chris Stewart’s 392nd NHL game, was his first appearance in his hometown.

Toronto was the only city the 26-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger hadn’t played in.

How did that happen?

Stewart played in the Western Conference with Colorado and St. Louis before the Sabres acquired him in March.

“My first year I got healthy scratched here, and then the lockout year we didn’t play the East, and then the one time I got traded to …

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Tonight will be Chris Stewart's 392nd NHL game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Incredibly, tonight’s tilt against the Maple Leafs, Chris Stewart’s 392nd NHL game, will be his first appearance in his hometown.

Toronto’s the only city the 26-year-old Buffalo Sabres winger hasn’t played in.

How did that happen?

Stewart played in the Western Conference with Colorado and St. Louis before the Sabres acquired him in March.

“My first year I got healthy scratched here, and then the lockout year we didn’t play the East, and then the one time I got traded to St. …

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Josh Gorges (4) leads the NHL in blocked shots. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Take away the character, take away the tenacity, and Buffalo Sabres veteran Josh Gorges becomes a run-of-the-mill defenseman.

The undrafted Gorges has built an unlikely 10-year NHL career by showcasing passion – on and off the ice.

“I have to play with my heart,” Gorges, whose Sabres play the Maple Leafs tonight, said Monday. “I have to play everything I got every shift.”

The 30-year-old believes he couldn’t do either of those wearing the blue-and-white of the hated Toronto Maple Leafs.

Four …

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Michal Neuvirth has played three games this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Goalie Michal Neuvirth, once thought to be the Buffalo Sabres’ backup, will make his second consecutive start tonight in Toronto, coach Ted Nolan said.

What’s going on? Wasn’t Jhonas Enroth supposed to be the No. 1 goalie?

Tonight’s contest will be Neuvirth’s third nod in the last four games.

Nolan said Monday he never anointed Enroth, who’s played six contests, the starting netminder.

“I said he won the right to start the season,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “There’s a …

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Andrej Meszaros has been playing big minutes. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Coach Ted Nolan noticed a little smirk on Andrej Meszaros’ face following the defenseman’s recent Buffalo Sabres debut.

Meszaros had just skated a whopping 29 minutes, 39 seconds in Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Carolina. The minutes felt like a warm welcome.

“It felt pretty good,” Meszaros said last week.

Meszaros, 28, hadn’t played that much in a 60-minute game since May 6, 2011. Back then, the Slovak had just been named Philadelphia’s top defenseman.

Then injuries – back, shoulder, torn Achilles – …

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Patrick Kaleta tore his ACL last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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TORONTO – Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan had no updates on Patrick Kaleta and Johan Larsson. The forwards left Sunday’s 3-2 preseason shootout loss to the Maple Leafs with apparent head injuries.

The players will be re-evaluated when the Sabres return to Buffalo, Nolan said.

The oft-injured Kaleta left the game just minutes in when Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit the winger in the cheekbone area. Kaleta immediately skated off the ice to the dressing room.

Later in the period, Petter Granberg elbowed …

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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Zac Dalpe signed with the Sabres on July 13. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Today, Sabres forward Zac Dalpe stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 195 pounds. The 24-year-old’s a former second-round pick who earned a hockey scholarship to Ohio State University.

But less than 10 years ago, Dalpe was a 5-foot-5, 110-pound teenager so desperate to get drafted into the Ontario Hockey League he hatched a plan at a weigh-in.

“I put these rocks in my pocket, and I weighed in at like 114,” Dalpe recalled Saturday inside the First Niagara Center. “I thought I …

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Chris Stewart zooms toward the net Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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. “It seemed like every time they had a …

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