Robin Lehner was injured his first start. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres turn to goalie Chad Johnson with Robin Lehner out

BUFFALO – For the time being at least, career backup Chad Johnson is the Sabres’ new starting goalie with Robin Lehner sidelined.

Lehner, who was hurt almost midway through Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Ottawa, was evaluated today and will be examined again Saturday. The Sabres will know more then, coach Dan Bylsma said.

As the Sabres practiced this morning inside the First Niagara Center, Lehner, who was wearing a walking boot on his right foot ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has played all three forward spots this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart won’t stay with Sabres as scratch

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ top two lines, while they could still be rearranged, appear to be set. So is the fourth line.

So four days before opening night, only the third line, which currently comprises center Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons, Jamie McGinn and Sam Reinhart, a center-turned-winger, has a spare.

Reinhart, given his age, 19, and rawness – he has played only nine NHL games and is learning a new position – could be ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (55) battles the New York Rangers' Tanner Glass last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel likely out against Leafs; Rasmus Ristolainen progressing

BUFFALO – Rookie center Jack Eichel likely won’t play in the Sabres’ third preseason game Friday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, coach Dan Bylsma said this morning.

Eichel, who had a goal and assist in his debut Monday, should play in Saturday’s road tilt against the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres will essentially use split squads for the next two games, Bylsma said.

Bylsma wants his regular goalies, Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson, to play ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle enjoyed his visit to Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres draft pick Brendan Guhle feels comfortable in Buffalo

SUNRISE, Fla. – Brendan Guhle left the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Buffalo feeling good about his future. The defenseman had some impressive pre-draft workouts and felt he interviewed well with the Sabres. He also enjoyed seeing sights around the city during his brief stay.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Guhle left Buffalo feeling good about his chances of returning.

Lucky for him, he’ll be visiting again real soon. The Sabres selected the 17-year-old in ... Read the full article

The Sabres need to find a goalie soon. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray wants to trade for young goalie

BUFFALO – If general manager Tim Murray gets his way, the Sabres will pry a young backup from another team soon to help fill their goaltending void.

“I’m confident that we can find something that can work here just by talking to other teams,” Murray said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “There are people available. That’s the avenue we’re pursuing right now.”

The Sabres only have one NHL goalie, Chad Johnson, a career ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov's rookie season was rough at times. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Tim Murray challenges Nikita Zadorov to grow up

BUFFALO – Tim Murray called his end-of-season meeting with 19-year-old Sabres rookie Nikita Zadorov, whose maturity was an issue all year, an “interview.” In reality, the general manager’s chat with the defenseman was probably more of a lecture.

“A big part of … our talk today was me putting the onus on him to grow, to get better to get fitter and become a man,” Murray said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center. “We’ll see ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Little-known goalie Linus Ullmark rapidly developing into one of Sabres’ top prospects

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

The story behind Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark’s Bowser mask

BUFFALO – Despite being born in 1993, Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo and Super Nintendo, classic video game consoles from an earlier generation.

“I’ve been playing that kind of stuff for a way, way long time, since I was like 5,” Ullmark said last week following a development camp session inside the First Niagara Center.

Ullmark likes the “Super Mario Bros.” games so much he asked his mask designer, David Gunnarsson, ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons spent all last season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of intriguing Sabres prospects participating in development camp

BUFFALO – Some experts are already predicting the Sabres, a team three months removed from the worst NHL season in recent memory, will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in a few years.

Why? Their prospect pool might be the deepest in hockey.

Seven first-round picks are participating in the team’s development camp this week. Seven of the 41 prospects played in the NHL last season, including center Zemgus Girgensons, who spent the entire campaign ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has worn a white mask at times during his career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Check out Sabres prospect Linus Ullmark’s Bowser mask

As you can see from the photo above, Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark sported a vanilla look during the team’s development camp last summer.

At times throughout his career, Ullmark has worn just a plain white mask. The 20-year-old Swede has a creative side, however. Check out the Bowser (from Super Mario Bros.) mask he just commissioned artist David Gunnarsson to paint.

Ullmark’s a big Nintendo fan, according to Gunnarsson. The youngster plans to ... Read the full article