Mikhail Grigorenko played his second NHL game this season Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko feels he earned recall

BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko knew the Sabres were short one forward and had the Colorado Avalanche, a team led by Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy, his former junior coach, coming up on the schedule.

Grigorenko, who played in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg before going back to Rochester, wanted to get recalled again badly. To his relief, the Sabres summoned the Russian again Saturday morning.

“I was hoping I would get called up, especially ... Read the full article

Canisius College players skate at HarborCenter recently. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Team impressed with HarborCenter

BUFFALO – Instead of dressing at the First Niagara Center and busing to the Riverside Ice Rink or another local facility Thursday, the Sabres simply put on their sandals or sneakers and walked across the street in their uniforms to HarborCenter, the new $170 million facility that opened earlier this fall.

Practicing outside the First Niagara Center is no longer a hassle. Naturally, the Sabres’ first session inside the sparkling facility had a huge “wow” ... Read the full article

HarborCenter impressed Drew Stafford. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres wowed by HarborCenter; Josh Gorges ready to return

BUFFALO – Instead of dressing at the First Niagara Center and busing to the Riverside Ice Rink or another local facility today, the Sabres simply put on their sandals or sneakers and walked across the street to HarborCenter, the new $170 million facility that opened earlier this fall.

Practicing outside the First Niagara Center is no longer a hassle. Naturally, the Sabres’ first session inside the sparkling facility had a huge “wow” factor.

“It’s beautiful,” ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson beats Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner for the shootout winner Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rally again, beat Senators in shootout

BUFFALO – Monday’s exciting 5-4 come-from-behind shootout victory against the Ottawa Senators extended the Sabres’ winning streak to four games. That’s 10 triumphs in their last 13 games. The surging team has rallied from third-period deficits in five of its last six wins.

In one month, the Sabres have morphed from a hapless team destined to finish last again into a legitimate playoff contender.

“We got something special going,” said Sabres center Marcus Foligno, who ... Read the full article

Chris Stewart has two goals in the last three games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Surging Sabres have quickly turned around season

BUFFALO – Forget about last place. How far can the surging Sabres climb up the NHL standings?

The once-hapless club has quickly morphed from an also-ran destined to become one of the NHL’s worst teams ever into a formidable outfit, winning five of the last six games.

Following a weekend sweep of the Montreal Canadiens, the Sabres are enjoying perhaps their best stretch in years entering tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the ... Read the full article

Torrey Mitchell has three goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Torrey Mitchell enjoying best stretch in years

BUFFALO – After watching Torrey Mitchell score the winning goal on a sore foot late in Saturday’s 2-1 win in Washington, Sabres coach Ted Nolan jokingly asked the center if he had heard of Toronto Maple Leafs legend Bobby Baun.

Mitchell’s outing, of course, wasn’t as gutsy or memorable as the time Baun scored an overtime winner in the Stanley Cup final on a broken leg 50 years ago.

Still, given the way Mitchell had ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta had three points Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Brian Gionta’s first goals lead Sabres past Sharks

BUFFALO – Outside the First Niagara Center, temperatures dipped into the low 20s and winds gusted up to 30 mph Tuesday. It was bone-chilling cold.

But there was very little snow on the ground downtown. The area immediately around the arena remained navigable all day. So did Buffalo’s Northtowns.

Just miles away, however, an early-season storm was annihilating the Southtowns.

Five feet fell in some areas. There was chaos everywhere. No one could budge.

Still, ... Read the full article

Brian Flynn steals the puck from Toronto goalie James Reimer on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres throttle Leafs, send Toronto fans home unhappy

BUFFALO – For one night at least, the First Niagara Center felt like the old days. A raucous capacity crowd of 19,070 fans roared from start to finish Saturday. The Sabres buzzed up and down the ice all night against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring goals and creating chance after chance.

The Sabres’ rollicking 6-2 win, just their second regulation triumph this season and first at home, was wildly entertaining, high-octane hockey.

Up in ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford has a team-high 10 points. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan searching for right Sabres line combinations

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford figured what the heck, he had nothing to lose by offering his services at center. The Sabres winger had played the position in high school.

So Stafford recently told coach Ted Nolan he would move if the reeling Sabres wanted to experiment.

“I wanted to let him know I’m comfortable with whatever he throws at myself or whoever I end up with,” Stafford said Friday inside the First Niagara Center. “I ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen practices Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Young Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov impressing as tandem

BUFFALO – When you’re struggling and searching for anything to ignite the team, you experiment. So with nothing to lose, Sabres coach Ted Nolan paired Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and rookie Nikita Zadorov, 19, together last game.

The defensemen became the Sabres’ top tandem in Saturday’s ugly 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh, each skating more than 20 minutes, more than Tyler Myers. Zadorov wasn’t on the ice for any goals against.

“If you look at both ... Read the full article