The Eichel Era

Marcus Foligno (82) was injured Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres winger Marcus Foligno suffered a lower-body injury during his last shift in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will likely miss Saturday’s rematch in Boston, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Foligno’s day-to-day, Bylsma said this afternoon following the Sabres’ optional practice inside HarborCenter.

“I don’t anticipate it will be week-to-week,” he said.

The Sabres will recall a forward from the Rochester Americans, Bylsma said. He wouldn’t reveal which one.

Update: The Sabres have made a surprising recall, summoning forward Dan …

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Sabres goalie Chad Johnson makes a second-period save Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Despite blowing a two-goal lead at home and losing a precious point to a division rival they’re chasing, the Sabres felt pretty good about the single point they earned for Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.

“We deserved to have better in this game and let it slip away,” said coach Dan Bylsma, whose Sabres have earned five points in the last three games and are 6-4-1 in their last 11 outings.

Realistically, if the Sabres have any …

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Johan Larsson has only two goals this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Early in the Sabres’ 4-2 comeback win Wednesday in Montreal, for one of the few times this season, center Johan Larsson drove to the net with authority and narrowly missed scoring just his second goal.

With 8:14 left in the contest, the Swede skated to the crease again and was rewarded with his first score in 20 games, the winner against the Canadiens.

For Larsson, 23, it was his best performance in what has mostly been a colossally disappointing season.

“No …

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Ramsus Ristolainen has his friends in town. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In his three NHL seasons, Rasmus Ristolainen’s close friends from his native Finland had never seen him play in person. Naturally, the defenseman wanted to make their first experience worthwhile, so he figured they should watch him in Montreal’s Bell Centre, one of the league’s best venues.

On Wednesday, five friends saw Ristolainen play in the Sabres’ 4-2 comeback win against the Canadiens. TV cameras caught the group clad in blue No. 55 Ristolainen jerseys and kept showing them …

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Zemgus Girgensons struggled offensively earlier this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Barely a minute into the third period last Tuesday, Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons roared down the left side into the Ottawa zone before stopping and lifting a saucer pass to center Jack Eichel, who was zooming to the net down the middle.

The rookie connected, got stymied by Senators goalie Craig Anderson but managed to tuck the loose puck in for the winner in the Sabres’ 3-2 comeback victory.

The slick score, the duo’s fourth goal and sixth point in …

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Josh Gorges (4) has been battling an upper-body injury. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In reality, it’s a good problem. With Josh Gorges ready to play, the Sabres have eight healthy defensemen. Given the rough-and-tumble nature of the position, bodies are always at a premium, especially at this time of year.

Still, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma doesn’t like it much. He’s already had to mothball defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who has played one game since Dec. 7. Now someone else must sit.

What will the Sabres do? Could a move be coming?

“I expect to see …

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Marcus Foligno believes the Sabres can make a late run. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Instead of jetting away for a quick vacation during the NHL All-Star break, Dan Bylsma stayed close to home and enjoyed a rare breather from the arduous six-month season. The Sabres coach still watched some AHL games in Rochester, but he mostly relaxed and spent a little time fishing.

After getting “muddied out” of one trip, Bylsma caught 15 steelhead at an undisclosed location.

“We had a very good day of steelhead fishing,” Bylsma said Monday after the Sabres assembled …

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Nick Deslauriers (44) should play Wednesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Before the Sabres started their first post-NHL All-Star break practice this afternoon inside HarborCenter, coach Dan Bylsma wanted his team to scrimmage. But instead of using five on a side, he had the entire team go out and threw two pucks on the ice.

He also instructed players to use their opposite hands, so lefties shot righty and vice versa.

As you might expect, it looked pretty odd. It wasn’t easy, either.

“It’s amazing when all you do is switch over …

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John Scott has enjoyed a whirlwind few days. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Right now, it’s John Scott’s world … we’re merely living in it.

A day after earning NHL All-Star Game MVP honors as the Pacific Division captain, the former Sabres tough guy today was named the league’s first star of the week.

Remember, Scott, who scored two goals in the new three-on-three format, isn’t even on an NHL roster. The Arizona Coyotes recently traded the NHL’s leading All-Star vote-getter to the Montreal Canadiens, who promptly dropped him to their AHL affiliate, …

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Matt Donovan spent all last season in the NHL but only played 12 games. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

ROCHESTER – It’s easy to forget, but almost four months ago, Matt Donovan made the Buffalo Sabres’ roster out of training camp and briefly stayed as the eighth defenseman.

After sitting out three games as a healthy scratch, the Sabres sent Donovan, 25, to the AHL, where he has quietly resumed a career that stalled last season with the New York Islanders.

Sure, getting demoted to the Americans was disappointing. But simply having an opportunity to play regularly has jumpstarted Donovan, who …

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