Ryan O’Reilly plays big minutes for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want to rely on star Ryan O’Reilly less this season

BUFFALO – Dan Bylsma has a problem. It’s a good one, mind you. Most coaches would love to have it.

In Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, he possesses one of the NHL’s most talented and versatile forwards, one he can throw on the ice in every conceivable situation.

A season ago, O’Reilly’s first with the Sabres, he skated 21 minutes, 44 seconds a game, most among NHL forwards. He deserved every second, quickly becoming the ... Read the full article

Ryan O’Reilly should play two preseason games this week. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ryan O’Reilly back from World Cup of Hockey

BUFFALO – After Team Canada announced its final World Cup of Hockey roster, Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was told to be ready in case of an injury.

Fresh off an NHL All-Star season and a gold medal at the World Championship, O’Reilly, 25, had impressed enough to earn a coveted spot on the stacked Canadian squad’s short list for the tournament.

In early September, after O’Reilly had started skating informally with some Sabres, Canada general ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has moved back to center. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons positive after rough season

BUFFALO – Instead of dwelling on a season in which his offensive production plummeted and he struggled to find a role on the revamped Sabres, center Zemgus Girgensons said he’s “going all positive.”

“I’m not looking back,” Girgensons said Saturday following practice inside KeyBank Center. “It doesn’t matter what it was last year. It’s a brand new year, you start from all zeros. That’s how I look at it. I feel confident in myself and ... Read the full article

William Nylander (left) interviews his brother, Alexander, before the NHL Draft in June. ©2016, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready for meeting with brother

BUFFALO – Growing up, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander and his brother, William, a Toronto Maple Leafs youngster, were ultra-competitive in whatever game or sport they played.

So, despite being very close, the Nylanders would occasionally get a little emotional.

“We fought a lot, there was a lot when we were playing knee hockey, shinny,” Alexander Nylander said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “We always came clean after it and were best buddies again.”

Don’t expect ... Read the full article

Derek Grant beats Ottawa goalie Matt O’Connor for the tying goal Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Derek Grant, Robin Lehner help Sabres down Senators in overtime

BUFFALO – Forget that the Sabres rallied to beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in Tuesday’s preseason home opener. Forget that they did it in spectacular fashion, tying it late before defenseman Jake McCabe scored a nifty overtime winner.

Individual efforts often matter the most during exhibition contests, and the Sabres received some strong performances, led by center Derek Grant’s one-goal, three-point night and No. 1 goalie Robin Lehner’s 37-save outing.

Grant tied it at 2 ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner plans to play the entire game tonight. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner ready for preseason debut

BUFFALO – Six months removed from ankle surgery, fiery Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, as you might expect, is excited to play his first game preseason game tonight.

“I don’t know if the excitement I sense is because it’s a new year and where he’s at physically and being ready to go or playing the Ottawa Senators and (he) doesn’t want (Mike) Hoffman to score tonight,” coach Dan Bylsma said after the Sabres prepared for ... Read the full article

Matt Moulson scored only eight goals last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Matt Moulson determined to prove doubters wrong

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Matt Moulson knows he has plenty of doubters. The former 30-goal scorer understands following a miserable year punctuated by his general manager challenging his work habits, some support for him has eroded.

Moulson, 32, has clearly been humbled. An eight-goal season can do that. So can drawing Tim Murray’s ire.

“I definitely have a chip on my shoulder coming in to prove a lot of people wrong that maybe lost a ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 27. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Concussion recovery gave Sabres’ Tyler Ennis new appreciation

BUFFALO – In the more than three months Tyler Ennis spent recovering from a concussion last season, the Sabres’ longest-tenured player learned he needed to approach what he calls a “pretty special job” differently.

“It makes you really not only appreciate what you got, but want to do better the next time,” Ennis said Thursday inside KeyBank Center after veterans reported to training camp for physicals.

That’s probably one reason why Ennis, who’s generously listed ... Read the full article

Phil Kessel has a long history with USA Hockey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres weigh in on Phil Kessel tweet

BUFFALO – The Phil Kessel tweet, a butt-end into the midsection of Team USA, had more than 73,000 retweets and 115,000 likes as of this afternoon.

As the Americans suffered an embarrassing 4-2 elimination loss Tuesday in the World Cup to Team Canada, the Pittsburgh Penguins star, the most notable talent left off a squad that flopped miserably, riled up the hockey universe with the following tweet:

“Just sitting around the house tonight w my ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons was all over the ice last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

5 storylines to follow during Sabres training camp

BUFFALO – The Sabres team that will convene today for training camp physicals, the official start of the 2016-17 season, isn’t much different from the one that just finished seventh in the Atlantic Division.

Sure, there were some notable summer additions. Winger Kyle Okposo, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract July 1, was arguably the best free agent available. Dmitri Kulikov gives the Sabres a sturdy veteran to skate beside No. 1 defenseman ... Read the full article