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Archive:
Washington Capitals

Sam Reinhart (center) celebrates his first preseason goal with Marcus Foligno (82) and Tyson Strachan (24). ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
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
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
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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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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Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

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Matt Moulson (left) shares a laugh with Tyler Ennis on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Through all the losses last season, through all the stress and uncertainty, Matt Moulson kept envisioning the future here.

The high-scoring winger endured the toughest season of his career in 2013-14, skating for three teams during a dizzying six-month stretch. The Sabres lost 28 of the 44 games he played. They changed coaches and general managers. Days before they traded him to the Minnesota Wild, Pat LaFontaine resigned as president of hockey operations.

Still, Moulson saw a bright vision from …

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Matt Moulson played less than one season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tim Murray said he began his first NHL trade deadline day as a general manager with no expectations, unsure which direction the rebuilding Sabres might go.

By the end Wednesday, Murray had made three notable deals, trading familiar names like Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick and Brayden McNabb while acquiring NHL talent and prospects. He also grabbed Canisius product Cory Conacher off waivers.

Murray, who sent franchise goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to St. Louis on Friday, called it …

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Jaroslav Halak dressed for one Sabres game. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Jaro, we hardly knew ye.

As expected, the Sabres have flipped goalie Jaroslav Halak, trading him to the Washington Capitals today with a 2015 third-round draft pick for goalie Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

The Sabres acquired the 28-year-old Slovak in Friday’s Ryan Miller trade. Halak never played with the Sabres, only dressing for Monday’s 3-2 loss in Dallas.

Halak, an unrestricted free agent following the season, is 24-9-4 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 40 …

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Alex Ovechkin celebrates his second goal Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sooner or later, Alex Ovechkin had to break loose, right? Over two recent games, the Washington Capitals superstar pumped a whopping 18 shots on goal against the Sabres.

Thanks to Ryan Miller’s elite goaltending, the Sabres held the NHL’s most-lethal threat scoreless while winning two 2-1 shootouts.

Facing backup goalie Jhonas Enroth, Ovechkin caught fire early Tuesday, scoring at 3:39 and 4:42 inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres still hadn’t recorded a shot.

But the Sabres roared back against the potent …

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The Sabres recalled Chad Ruhwedel last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – While a seven-game, late-season introduction to the NHL was nice, Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel knew he still had plenty to learn about professional hockey.

So a preseason assignment to Rochester hardly surprised the 23-year-old.

“I came in not expecting it, but ready for it,” Ruhwedel, who joined the Sabres straight from the NCAA in April, said Monday in Pittsburgh. “It was my first year pro. I’m not the guy who thinks he’s ready for the NHL out of college. So …

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Jamie McBain skates this morning. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As expected, Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Alexander Sulzer, a scratch five of the last six games, will replace him.

The 25-year-old McBain endured a rough night in Monday’s 3-0 loss in Pittsburgh, losing the puck on the Penguins’ first goal.

“I just want to see better,” Nolan, whose team has lost six of the last seven, said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “As every player in this league, I …

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