Michal Neuvirth will receive a rare start tonight. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen ready to play; Goalie Michal Neuvirth to start

BUFFALO – As injuries recently weakened his defense corps, Sabres coach Ted Nolan spread out the wealth a bit, breaking up Rasmus Ristolainen, 20, and Nikita Zadorov, 19, arguably his best tandem.

“Our defense corps was a little bit in disarray for a while, and those two were probably our two shining lights,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

The struggling Sabres desperately need another strong defense pair, so with Ristolainen ... 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

Sabres goalie coach Arturs Irbe (left) chats with Michal Neuvirth. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalies Jhonas Enroth, Michal Neuvirth still battling for No. 1 job

BUFFALO – They are both 26 years old, young NHL veterans competing to become the Sabres’ starting goalie.

Right now, Michal Neuvirth, having started five of the last eight games, including the past two, has the upper hand. The Czech struggled badly during the preseason, then watched as Jhonas Enroth earned five of the first six nods.

But Neuvirth has rebounded recently, posting a .957 save percentage in his last two appearances.

Meanwhile, Enroth, tonight’s ... Read the full article

Michal Neuvirth only played two games with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Friends Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth ready to battle for Sabres’ starting goalie job

BUFFALO – They’ve been friends for years. Sabres goalies Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth grew up facing each other overseas. When their careers shifted to North America, they kept competing all the way to the NHL.

These days, the 26-year-olds are challenging for the same spot, the No. 1 goalie position.

“It’s Jhonas and Neuvirth’s time,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Friday inside the First Niagara Center following the first session of training camp.

The ... Read the full article

Ted Nolan spent much of the summer finding a new coaching staff. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ted Nolan ready for fresh start with new Sabres players and coaching staff

HAMBURG – Following the most trying season in franchise history, Ted Nolan found some time to recharge this summer. Not a lot, however. The Sabres coach spent much of the offseason preparing for the upcoming campaign and honoring commitments around Buffalo.

“A summer of getting out with the old and beginning with the new,” a smiling Nolan said Tuesday at the Wanahak Country Club prior to the team’s annual golf tournament.

Two days before training ... Read the full article

Tim Murray, who’s scouting this week in Lake Placid, hired his own people. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres change up front office, name new coaching staff

BUFFALO – Seven months after becoming Sabres general manager, Tim Murray has put his stamp on the front office, hiring a new assistant GM and two scouting directors.

Mark Jakubowski has been promoted to Murray’s assistant, the team announced Monday. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier, Murray’s predecessor. Rob Murphy has been named scouting director. Greg Royce has been named amateur scouting director. Murray worked with Murphy and Royce with the ... Read the full article

Tim Murray has hired his own staff. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres revamp front office, name new assistant coaches

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Tim Murray put his stamp on the front office today, naming a new director of scouting, director of amateur scouting and assistant GM.

Rob Murphy, who worked beside Murray with the Ottawa Senators, will run the scouting department. Greg Royce, another scout Murray worked with in Ottawa, will run the amateur side. Mark Jakubowski is Murray’s new assistant. Jakubowski was the assistant to the GM under Darcy Regier.

Kevin Devine, ... Read the full article