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Washington Capitals

Sabres goalie Anders Lindback gloves a shot Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – After getting throttled nine days earlier in Washington, the Sabres wanted another crack at the Capitals oh-so badly. The blowout loss left the rebuilding club bitter.

“It was a stinker last time we were in Washington,” winger Tyler Ennis said Monday following the Sabres’ entertaining and spirited 4-3 shootout loss. “They had their No. 1 unit out when it was 5-1, and they scored to make it 6-1 and celebrated pretty hard.”

The Sabres matched the Capitals for 65 minutes …

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Matt Ellis (37) skates Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – To Sabres center Matt Ellis, the AHL’s experiment with three-on-three overtime this season has created “a really exciting brand” of hockey.

The extra space allows players to freewheel all over the ice and have fun. Systems become an afterthought.

“The speed and the skill really shines through, the amount of open ice,” Ellis, who played 38 games in Rochester this season, said Monday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals. “It’s incredible to see it, and …

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Chad Ruhwedel hasn't played in the NHL this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Get ready to see another defenseman play for the Sabres. With Zach Bogosian and Andrej Meszaros injured, the club will likely recall Chad Ruhwedel from Rochester for tonight’s tilt against the Washington Capitals, coach Ted Nolan said.

The 24-year-old Ruhwedel would be the 11th defenseman to dress for the Sabres this year.

Update: The Sabres have officially recalled Ruhwedel.

Bogosian’s lower-body injury hasn’t improved, Nolan said. Meanwhile, Meszaros, who hurt his hand blocking a shot March 7, banged another part of …

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Sabres goalie tries to Anders Lindback (35) tries to stop the puck Saturday in from of Nikita Zadorov (51). ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – At this point, it’s a fair question to ask. Given the Sabres’ sorry state – they’re on a 0-5-1 run with AHL players filling out the NHL’s weakest roster following the trade deadline – can they win again this season?

A few more losses could cement 30th place and secure the rights to draft either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, the mega-prospects the Sabres covet so dearly.

The Sabres have 14 games left in their miserable campaign, starting with tonight’s …

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Matt Hackett could see some action down the stretch. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled goalie Matt Hackett and sent center Mikhail Grigorenko and goalie Andrey Makarov back to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

Makarov was summoned Friday after goalie Chad Johnson suffered a lower-body injury in the morning skate. Johnson’s season could be over, Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters.

Goalie Anders Lindback played in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres face the Washington Capitals tonight.

The 25-year-old Hackett, who returned from a knee injury earlier this winter, must …

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Nikita Zadorov has cemented a roster spot. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Nine weeks ago, Nikita Zadorov wasn’t even ready to play in a prospects tournament. The 19-year-old Sabres defenseman, one of the few players with NHL experience, got benched.

“That benching was not because I’m a bad player, because I was not ready for that game,” Zadorov said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center. “Coach (Chadd Cassidy) said I didn’t have enough effort. It’s kind of my bad, and it was in my head.

“Maybe I wasn’t ready for that tournament. …

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Patrick Kaleta practiced again Friday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For days, Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta looked out a window in his Hamburg home and had one thought, “Man, when is this going to end?”

As foot after foot of snow from Winter Storm Knife piled up, Kaleta, like most Southtowns residents, got trapped. He spent three days shoveling and helping people.

“There was nothing I could do,” Kaleta said Friday following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “As my neighbors’ kids would say, I’m pretty grumpy.”

Finally, Kaleta made it …

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Sam Reinhart (center) celebrates his first preseason goal with Marcus Foligno (82) and Tyson Strachan (24). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Seven minutes, 10 seconds into the third period Wednesday, with the Sabres up four goals against the Washington Capitals, top prospect Sam Reinhart finally found some open ice.

Reinhart, by his own admission, had been pressing this preseason. The savvy 18-year-old couldn’t score or even create opportunities, and it gnawed at him. The hockey IQ fans have heard about so much rarely materialized.

But as Wednesday’s contest dragged on, the center got open in the right circle, grabbed a perfect …

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Mikhail Grigorenko skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Two weeks into training camp, center Mikhail Grigorenko remains the Sabres’ biggest surprise. Two more impressive outings could earn the Russian prospect a roster spot.

“He’s been looking really good,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He’s strong on the puck. He’s been making some really good plays. So the biggest thing right now is keep seeing him do it.”

Grigorenko has two more preseason opportunities, tonight against the Washington Capitals and Friday in …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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