Patrick Kaleta wore the ‘A’ for the first time Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Patrick Kaleta on wearing letter: ‘It really means the world to me’

BUFFALO – It was Wednesday morning, and before the Sabres hit the ice, Ted Nolan had some business to take care of in a team meeting. The coach handed Mike Weber a jersey, which the defenseman then tossed to winger Patrick Kaleta.

The jersey was Kaleta’s No. 36 with an ‘A’ stitched on it, meaning Weber wanted the heart-and-soul player to take over his alternate captaincy.

Emotion overwhelmed Kaleta. The 28-year-old Angola native had ... Read the full article

Arizona goalie Mike Smith pokes the puck away from Tyler Ennis on Thursday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis enjoying special season

BUFFALO – Sometimes you focus so much on the future, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, the present can easily be forgotten about.

When the rebuilding Sabres surround Tyler Ennis with better talent in the coming years, the slick winger could become one of the NHL’s elite talents.

But right now, the 25-year-old, who will likely miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury, is a special player. The former first-round pick is often the Sabres’ only ... Read the full article

Brian Gionta is stopped by New York Rangers goalie Mackenzie Skapski earlier this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres captain Brian Gionta on loss to Coyotes: ‘Our fans were cheering for us’

BUFFALO – Unlike his teammate Mike Weber, who ripped the hometown fans, Sabres captain Brian Gionta wouldn’t go there.

Gionta played almost 25 minutes in the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss Thursday, a game in which the hometown fans rooted for the Arizona Coyotes. Surely, the veteran heard the loud cheering inside the First Niagara Center.

“No, our fans were cheering for us,” Gionta insisted this afternoon. “We have great fans. We have a great ... Read the full article

Anders Lindback has a .934 save percentage with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Anders Lindback knows hot streak means little

BUFFALO – Anders Lindback likes to take a big-picture approach, so the Sabres goalie will examine his entire season when it ends. The Swede’s six-game hot streak means little to him right now.

The 26-year-old, a spare part before the March 2 trade deadline, has quickly morphed into a stud in net, posting a 2.41 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in seven appearances (six starts) with his new club.

Lindback dazzled in his ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian blocked a shot Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian ready to play

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who left Saturday’s 6-1 loss in Washington after blocking an Alex Ovechkin shot with his right leg, should play Wednesday in Toronto.

“I’m good to go,” Bogosian said following practice today inside the First Niagara Center. “Those things happen sometimes it takes a few days to settle down. It’s all good.”

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who left earlier in the game with a hand injury, also practiced.

Sabres coach Ted ... Read the full article

The Sabres could call on Matt Hackett often down the stretch. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Strong finish could keep goalie Matt Hackett in Sabres’ plans

BUFFALO – In less than a year, Sabres prospect Matt Hackett morphed from Ryan Miller’s possible heir apparent into an afterthought, the fifth goalie on the rebuilding team’s depth chart.

Hackett struggled last year in Rochester, posting career-worst numbers. Then the 25-year-old tore up his knee during a late-season recall, shelving him for nine months.

As Hackett rehabbed, Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth battled for the Sabres’ starting job. In Rochester, Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett has played 14 AHL games this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett could get long look

Matt Hackett could be the Buffalo Sabres’ new starting goalie.

With a lower-body injury putting newcomer Chad Johnson’s season in doubt, the Sabres recalled Hackett from Rochester on Saturday and started him hours later against the Washington Capitals, his second NHL appearance this season.

Hackett must play eight NHL games or he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Sabres need to evaluate goalies for next season, so he could receive a long ... Read the full article

Matt Hackett could see some action down the stretch. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall goalie Matt Hackett, send two players to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled goalie Matt Hackett and sent center Mikhail Grigorenko and goalie Andrey Makarov back to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

Makarov was summoned Friday after goalie Chad Johnson suffered a lower-body injury in the morning skate. Johnson’s season could be over, Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters.

Goalie Anders Lindback played in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres face the Washington Capitals tonight.

The 25-year-old Hackett, who returned ... Read the full article

The Sabres recalled Andrey Makarov this afternoon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson doubtful for Senators; Andrey Makarov recalled

BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Chad Johnson making his Sabres debut tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

The 28-year-old Johnson, acquired from the New York Islanders on Monday, is doubtful for the road game with a lower-body injury, the team announced this afternoon. Johnson skated the past two days.

Goalie Anders Lindback will likely make his second straight start. The Sabres recalled Andrey Makarov from the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

Update: Coach Ted Nolan told reporters ... Read the full article

The Sabres are Chad Johnson’s fifth NHL team. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson ready for debut, has chance to grab No. 1 job

BUFFALO – Just days ago, fans were calling for Sabres coach Ted Nolan to sit hot starting goalie Michal Neuvirth and give wonky backup Anders Lindback some work.

“Everyone wanted Lindback, Lindback,” Nolan said Thursday inside HarborCenter after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the Ottawa Senators.

Nolan refused to sit Neuvirth, starting him eight straight games before the Sabres traded him Monday.

“How can you justify, wake up in the morning ... Read the full article