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Sabres’ Vanek questionable for tonight’s tilt

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Thomas Vanek, who left Thursday’s 3-1 loss in Boston after the Bruins’ Johnny Boychuk leveled him, is questionable (upper body) for tonight’s game in Ottawa against the Senators.

“Thomas is doing OK,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told reporters Friday in Ottawa. “I can’t answer that question (if Vanek will play). I think it all just depends on how he’s feeling tomorrow.”

Vanek didn’t practice Friday. Neither did winger Patrick Kaleta, who ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres shake off awful start, beat Hurricanes in OT

BUFFALO – In the first period Wednesday, after the lethargic Sabres coasted back during a power play and nearly fell behind 2-0 to the Carolina Hurricanes, Lindy Ruff finally had enough.

When the guilty players reached the bench, the coach reamed them out.

“The first period, it wasn’t a great period on our part,” Ruff said following the Sabres’ 3-2 overtime triumph inside the First Niagara Center. “Some of it was execution. Some of it ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres positioned for unlikely run at postseason

BUFFALO – Go ahead, pick the dates the underachieving Sabres appeared finished and primed to play out the string for a lottery pick.

There are plenty, you know.

There was that embarrassing 5-0 dismantling Jan. 16 in Detroit, after which an emotional Ryan Miller said a trade wouldn’t help the Sabres. Two nights later, the Blackhawks throttled them 6-2 in Chicago, the third of five straight losses on a six game-trip.

On Feb. 16, the ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville, who usually starts seasons slowly, compiled 14 points in October. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Pominville showcasing dynamic consistency

BUFFALO – Sixty games into the season, Jason Pominville hasn’t shown any signs of letting up. With five points in the last two contests, the Sabres captain already has 23 goals and 59 points, seven more than he had all of last season in 13 fewer appearances.

In a disappointing year for the Sabres, Pominville’s been the only constant presence, showcasing a remarkable consistency right from opening night, when a goal and two assists began ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres pounce on Isles early, hold on for tight win

BUFFALO – The Sabres, rested and waiting for the New York Islanders, would’ve had no excuses for losing Tuesday. Not against a team that had been humiliated 6-0 at home the previous afternoon. Not with Kevin Poulin, the rookie goaltender that had lasted just two minutes into his start, getting another nod.

The Isles looked ripe to be exploited inside the First Niagara Center.

Sure enough, the Sabres capitalized early. Tyler Myers scored just 1:21 ... Read the full article

©2012

Sabres’ power play struggling despite new additions

BUFFALO – Take the NHL’s No. 9 power play in 2010-11, and add Christian Ehrhoff, an elite point presence who possesses a lethal shot, and Brad Boyes, a forward proficient at pulling the trigger down low.

What do the Sabres have?

One of the league’s worst power plays.

Entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the First Niagara Center, the Sabres are four of the last 50 in 20 games since Jan. 3. ... Read the full article

©2012

Shootout loss to Habs knocks Sabres into last place

BUFFALO – Throughout their dizzying two-month run of injuries, as the Sabres plummeted down the Eastern Conference standings, they kept using the missing regulars as a crutch.

Coach Lindy Ruff said he didn’t want to make excuses, yet repeated how he wanted his team back. Then owner Terry Pegula took it a step further, saying they had to “get Humpty back together.”

Well, the Sabres essentially fielded their normal team for the 10th straight ... Read the full article

©2012

Habs coach Cunneyworth experiencing difficult acclimation to Montreal

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville grew up in Quebec and still makes his offseason home there. The bilingual Sabres captain knows the Montreal Canadiens market well. He understands “the circumstances of the public wanting a French-speaking coach.”

“But at the same time,” Pominville said Friday morning inside the First Niagara Center, “I don’t think you can pass up a guy that could be your best option even though he doesn’t speak the language.”

Randy Cunneyworth, the ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has only four goals in 22 games this season. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ anemic offense could become team’s worst ever

“I’m sure that again we’ll finish the year around (240 goals).” – Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, December 15, 2011

“I guarantee you it’ll come again. It always has.” – Ruff on his anemic offense, January 23

BUFFALO – Not long ago, Ruff could speak confidently because the post-lockout Sabres had always found ways to score. They annually overcame any struggles and ranked among the NHL’s slickest attacks, averaging 256 goals a year.

But the ... Read the full article