Sidney Crosby believes several tools make Thomas Vanek a superstar. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crosby impressed by Sabres superstar Vanek

BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering this afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.

Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.

“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said Saturday after the Penguins prepared for the Sabres inside the First Niagara Center.

In Crosby’s ... Read the full article

Sidney Crosby respects Thomas Vanek's game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crosby believes ‘a lot of different things’ make Sabres superstar Vanek great

BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering Sunday’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.

Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.

“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said this afternoon following the Penguins’ practice inside the First Niagara Center.

In Crosby’s mind, what makes ... Read the full article

Andrej Sekera will likely miss Sunday's game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sekera likely out for Penguins game

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera, who left Friday’s 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins after suffering a charley horse midway through the third period, will likely miss Sunday afternoon’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He’s doing OK today,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center. “I’d say doubtful for tomorrow.”

It’s likely Mike Weber will return to the lineup after getting scratched Friday.

The Sabres just dealt ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford celebrates after netting his first goal of the season Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres shake off poor second period, roar back and down Bruins with 3 late goals

BUFFALO – It could’ve been about 8-1 after 40 minutes against the Boston Bruins on Friday. Instead, goalie Ryan Miller held his teammates in the contest, stopping 16 of 17 shots as the Sabres kept imploding in their own zone during the second period.

Miller, who’s been hung out to dry all season, gave the reeling Sabres the extra life they sorely needed as the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans booed them off the ice.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville had a tendon sliced two seasons ago. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Pominville understands long recovery Karlsson faces

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jason Pominville has watched the scary video of Ottawa superstar Erik Karlsson getting his Achilles lacerated by Matt Cooke’s skate Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenseman, will miss the rest of the season. His rehab will be long and grueling.

Pominville knows well. On April 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, James van Riemsdyk’s skate completely sliced a tendon in the winger’s lower leg.

It’s ... Read the full article

Tyler Seguin was a regular healthy scratch two seasons ago. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Julien knows all about Sabres’ plan for Grigorenko

BUFFALO – The benefits of sitting an 18-year-old rookie are many, Claude Julien said this morning. The Boston Bruins coach sat slick winger Tyler Seguin, his teenage phenom, occasionally two years ago.

The Sabres plan to sit, Mikhail Grigorenko, their 18-year-old freshman, at times this season, a tactic coach Lindy Ruff believes will benefit his top prospect’s development. Ruff scratched the Russian on Sunday against Boston.

Seguin played 74 games in 2010-11 before watching ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Scott back in lineup against Bruins as Sulzer sits again

BUFFALO – The 15th-place Sabres will make one lineup change for tonight’s tilt against the Boston Bruins inside the First Niagara Center, inserting tough guy John Scott for Cody McCormick up front.

Scott sat Tuesday’s 2-0 loss in Ottawa, his first healthy scratch this season. The enforcer had a memorable knockout of the Bruins’ Shawn Thornton on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, defensemen T.J. Brennan and Alexander Sulzer will sit again as healthy scratches.

Sulzer, ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff tried to accept responsibility Thursday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruff ready to ‘clean up’ struggling Sabres: ‘It’s on me’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff’s mood belied his team’s plight. The Sabres coach was smiling and brimming with energy during a frank nine-minute chat with the media Thursday following a 70-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center.

“It is on me,” Ruff said about the challenge of fixing the Sabres’ poor 5-8-1 record, which has them mired in 15th place in the Eastern Conference. “I understand that. I understand this is on me to clean ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford hasn't scored yet this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff trying to keep struggling Stafford ‘in the right place’

BUFFALO – It was an epic miss magnified by his 14-game, season-long goal drought. On a three-on-two break during Tuesday’s 2-0 loss in Ottawa, struggling Sabres winger Drew Stafford misfired on a one-timer with a yawning net ahead, blowing a glorious chance to end his slump.

“I think everyone saw the highlight of him missing, just heeling what would’ve been a wide-open one-timer you’d almost think was right in the wheelhouse,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff was in a good mood this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ruff on cleaning up Sabres’ poor start: ‘It’s on me’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff’s mood belied his team’s plight. The Sabres coach was smiling and brimming with energy during a frank nine-minute chat with the media this afternoon following a 70-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center.

No one would’ve known the Sabres are 5-8-1 and mired in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

“It is on me,” Ruff said about the challenge of cleaning up the Sabres’ poor start. “I understand that. I ... Read the full article