Patrick Kaleta hasn’t played since March 3. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rolston sending Kaleta a message with scratch

Patrick Kaleta is seething because he will be scratched tonight. The Angola native, the Buffalo Sabres’ chief agitator, has enjoyed a regular spot in the lineup for years, never sitting unless he’s hurt or suspended (so he does miss a lot of games).

But against the Washington Capitals, the aggressive winger, who’s eligible to return from a five-game boarding suspension, will be benched as a healthy scratch.

“I’m (ticked) off. I want to play,” ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk has played 57 AHL games this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Pysyk from Amerks to replace Sekera

With Andrej Sekera (upper body) out tonight, the Buffalo Sabres have recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk from Rochester. The 21-year-old will make his NHL debut tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Pysyk, the 23rd overall pick in 2010, has four goals, 18 points, 20 penalty minutes and plus-8 rating in 57 games with the AHL Americans.

The rookie played four years with the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings before turning professional this season.

In summoning ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford’s still looking for his first goal this season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Sabres trying to ‘get rid of the pond hockey’ mentality

AMHERST – In about 27 hours, the Buffalo Sabres morphed from a tight five-man unit into a disjointed, ugly mess, performing brutally during consecutive losses to the once-hapless Carolina Hurricanes.

So much for all that optimism the Sabres’ hot 2-0 start had generated just several days ago.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff broke up his lines Saturday and ripped into his team­ on the Northtown Center ice, at one point barking, “Every freakin’ puck is ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko skated sparingly on the fourth line Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff regrets playing top prospect Grigorenko so little

AMHERST – Lindy Ruff couldn’t hide his disgust Saturday morning inside the Northtown Center.

The Buffalo Sabres coach sighed before acknowledging the obvious.

“It’s like burning a game,” Ruff said about skating 18-year-old rookie Mikhail Grigorenko a career-low 6:48 in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Carolina.

The Russian center can play five times before the first-year of his entry level contract kicks in. Each appearance is precious in the Sabres’ evaluation.

The Sabres wasted Grigorenko’s ... Read the full article

Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals have 84 points. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ ‘biggest game’ of season could vault them into playoff spot

BUFFALO – In reality, it’s a single game for the Sabres, one of 82 regular-season contests. Tonight’s anticipated eight-versus-nine tilt in Washington is potentially worth two points for them, just like any other game.

If the Sabres win, break their tie with the Capitals (84 points) and move into eighth place, they could quickly lose the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot again. Don’t forget, they stayed there less than a day after grabbing it Saturday.... Read the full article