Robin Lehner played under former general manager Tim Murray in Ottawa. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Tim Murray gone, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner a question mark as starter

BUFFALO – Before Tim Murray acquired Robin Lehner, the former general manager cycled through an absurd number of goalies – 10, to be exact – as he tore apart the Sabres in his first season and a half as general manager.

Despite terrific play from Jhonas Enroth, Anders Lindback and Michal Neuvirth – some believed they performed too well, hurting the tanking Sabres’ chances at the top pick – Murray wanted a new ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark played 55 games in Rochester this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Heavy workload helped Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark with Amerks

ROCHESTER – In what quickly became another rough season, one bright spot emerged for the Americans, workhorse Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark’s numbers won’t wow you. In an AHL-high 55 games, the Swede’s 2.87 goals-against average ranked 31st in the league. His .909 save percentage ranked 24th.

But Ullmark, 23, tended goal for a sixth-place club with a porous defense. He faced a league-high 1,678 shots – 31 a contest and 136 ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson closed the season in Rochester. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie prospect Jonas Johansson learning North American game

ROCHESTER – With the Buffalo Sabres boasting some of hockey’s best goalie prospects, it can be easy for Jonas Johansson to get overlooked.

After all, Linus Ullmark morphed into one of the AHL best goalies this season, becoming the Rochester Americans’ backbone and MVP. Two years into his North American career, the Swede looks ready to graduate to Buffalo.

The Sabres also own the rights to Notre Dame junior Cal Petersen, one of the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel was the Sabres' leading scorer this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Disappointing season leaves Sabres’ Jack Eichel seething

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel looked like he would’ve rather been anywhere else. The Sabres center was restless throughout his six-minute chat with the media Monday, mostly giving terse statements and looking around as he stood at a podium.

Eichel, 20, isn’t handling the Sabres’ last-place finish in the Atlantic Division – they also ended 2016-17 an embarrassing 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference – very well.

“It’s tough,” a seething Eichel said inside KeyBank Center ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been one of the Sabres' best defensemen all season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jake McCabe on benching: ‘I’m not going to lose sleep over it’

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the same night the Sabres honored Jake McCabe as their Unsung Hero, coach Dan Bylsma scratched the defenseman because of some recent gaffes.

McCabe has morphed into a top contributor this season, skating almost 21 minutes a night, sometimes on the first pair. So getting benched, even after a poor stretch, was a bit surprising.

“I’m not going to lose sleep over it,” a curt McCabe said this morning inside HarborCenter. ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis had a 23-game goal drought. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis feeling healthy again

BUFFALO – It’s the surest sign Tyler Ennis has regained some of his slick form after undergoing early-season groin surgery and struggling for months. The speedy Sabres winger has started showcasing his old burst.

Just over halfway into Wednesday’s 2-1 win, a rebound squirted into the slot between two Montreal Canadiens defensemen. Ennis read the play perfectly, zooming in and beating them to the loose puck.

A split-second later, Ennis scored his first goal since ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly (90) believes everyone needs to be better. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly sick of losing: ‘It’s getting exhausting’

BUFFALO – At this point, as the Sabres stumble at the end of another disappointing season, frustration has started overwhelming Ryan O’Reilly.

O’Reilly, 26, has experienced enough losing. The popular center passionately called out himself and his teammates to be better during a brutally honest chat with the media prior to Wednesday’s home finale against the Montreal Canadiens, a 2-1 win.

“I’m sick of losing,” O’Reilly said inside KeyBank Center. “It’s getting exhausting and ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has been a strong performer most of the season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to scratch Jake McCabe against Canadiens

BUFFALO – For almost six months, defenseman Jake McCabe was one of the Sabres’ steadiest players, showcasing consistency the team’s blue line sorely needed. But the Wisconsin native has morphed into a gaffe machine in the last week, committing a string of costly turnovers.

So McCabe, 23, will be a healthy scratch for the first time all season in tonight’s home finale against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.

“He’s made a few gaffes with ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) stickhandles past handles past Nashville's Mattias Ekholm on Tuesday. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres implode late, lose to Predators in OT

BUFFALO – Before today’s trade deadline hits, before the reeling Sabres sell off assets, they imploded again Tuesday, illustrating why they’ll soon complete their sixth straight season without a playoff appearance.

Up 4-2 against the Nashville Predators late before 18,634 fans inside KeyBank Center, the Sabres frittered away a two-goal lead third-period lead for the second straight game, losing 5-4 in overtime.

Thanks to four straight losses, the Sabres are six points out of the ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta's three-year contract will expire following the season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Captain Brian Gionta wants to stay with Sabres

BUFFALO – Brian Gionta said it again Tuesday, that despite a small chance of reaching the playoffs and an expiring contract, he wants to stay with the Sabres, the team he has captained three seasons.

“I’ve made my position pretty clear,” Gionta said prior to the Sabres’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators inside KeyBank Center. “I’d like to stay here. I’d like to be here going on in the future. I want to ... Read the full article