Hudson Fasching made an appearance at the First Niagara Center in 2012 at the All-American Prospects Game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookies Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson set to debut

BUFFALO – Somewhere in Minnesota earlier today, the Fasching family was probably anxiously waiting for Sabres rookie Hudson Fasching to phone home with some special news.

“I think they’re kind of ready if they get the call,” Fasching said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Minutes after Fasching spoke, following a chat with Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, he likely called his parents to tell them he would be making his NHL debut Saturday afternoon ... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching was excited to practice Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookies Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson ready for NHL careers

BUFFALO – Hudson Fasching, of course, was supposed to crack the NHL. The Sabres rookie developed rapidly at the University of Minnesota, becoming one of the NCAA’s best power forwards by his junior season.

A year ago, Fasching, 20, decided he would turn pro following his third year.

But defenseman Casey Nelson, who debuted at practice with Fasching on Thursday, experienced a tougher route to the Sabres. The undrafted Nelson, 23, is ... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching just ended his college career. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Hudson Fasching, Casey Nelson excited to join Sabres

BUFFALO – The Sabres rookies took different paths from college to the NHL.

Winger Hudson Fasching decided last year he would turn pro following his junior season. Meanwhile, defenseman Casey Nelson wasn’t sure a month ago if he would leave school after three seasons.

Of course, Fasching, 20, was supposed to here. The power forward’s stock steadily rose at the University of Minnesota after Los Angeles drafted him in 2013.

The undrafted Nelson, who called ... Read the full article

Nick Deslauriers beats Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers savors each goal

TORONTO – As a third- or fourth-liner known more for his fists than his soft hands, gritty Buffalo Sabres winger Nick Deslauriers has endured some long goal droughts.

While the likable Deslauriers scored his career-high sixth goal in Friday’s 3-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators, he has only 12 in his 160-game career. After scoring three times in the first 11 games this season, the former defenseman went 41 appearances before finally scoring again ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) will miss his first NHL game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Jack Eichel out with flu

TORONTO – The flu will force Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel to miss his first NHL game tonight, coach Dan Bylsma said.

To replace the center against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, the Sabres have recalled rookie winger Dan Catenacci from the Rochester Americans. Cal O’Reilly will move to center, Bylsma said.

Eichel, 19, finished Friday’s 3-1 home win against the Ottawa Senators, recording as assist, his 49th point.

“It didn’t come on until ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson stops Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan on Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson temporary starter again

BUFFALO – In the span of six months, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has been a backup, a starter, part of a platoon with rookie Linus Ullmark and a backup again.

For this weekend at least, with Robin Lehner sidelined, Johnson is the Sabres’ top netminder again.

Johnson started Friday’s 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators inside the First Niagara Center, his fifth straight victory, and will get another nod tonight in Toronto against the Maple ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner kicks out a shot by Edmonton’s Taylor Hall on March 1. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner will miss weekend games

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner could play again this season. The Sabres will allow their starting goalie to rest and rehab the ankle injury he just aggravated twice in a week, coach Dan Bylsma said.

Lehner suffered a high right ankle sprain opening night and has been dealing with it since returning in January.

Right now, shutting the Swede down isn’t in the team’s thought process, Bylsma said.

“(A) high ankle sprain is just one you ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner’s ankle is still tender. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ankle hurting Sabres goalie Robin Lehner

BUFFALO – When Sabres goalie Robin Lehner returned from a high ankle sprain in January, he knew the injury that shelved him more than three months would linger the rest of the season.

That right ankle, Lehner has recently learned, is still very tender.

The Swede has jammed it into the post twice in the last week, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said, including in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal.

Lehner missed today’s practice inside ... Read the full article

Carlo Colaiacovo was scratched for more than two months. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Carlo Colaiacovo happy to have regular duty

BUFFALO – For 10 weeks, as Carlo Colaiacovo sat game after game – 30 out of 32, including a whopping 15 straight – the Sabres defenseman kept giving coach Dan Bylsma a message.

“Every game he was, ‘I’m ready to go,’” Bylsma said prior to Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes inside the First Niagara Center.

These days, even with Colaiacovo, 33, dressing regularly again – he played his 10th straight ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno believes the Sabres play opponents tough. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to keep building identity

BUFFALO – Right away, five months ago, the Sabres passed the eye test. Following two wretched seasons, the rebuilt club immediately looked like, well, a real team again.

While this campaign has still been rough – they rank seventh in the Atlantic Division and 26th overall – the Sabres believe they’ve started creating a strong identity they can carry into the future.

The new-look team (27-33-9) has morphed back into a competitive outfit in ... Read the full article