Johnson to anchor Sabres’ defense against Tampa Bay

“I’ve for the most part been sort of a second guy,” Johnson said Friday in First Niagara Center. “At this level, a lot of times what makes a difference is just an opportunity or the right person believing in you.”‘

O’Reilly wants to put disappointing debut behind him

‘“I just felt I skated around,” O’Reilly said in First Niagara Center. “I wasn’t where I should have been a lot of the time. Whether it was just overthinking or just out of position, I have to be much better for my linemates and for the team.”’

Sabres confident in goalie Chad Johnson

‘“It is exciting,” Johnson said. “Obviously … sort of a goal of mine is to be a starting goaltender.”’

Saturday’s Tampa Bay Coverage

Lightning-Sabres preview (Tampa Bay Times)
Lightning-Sabres Preview (AP)
Sabres to start Johnson in goal against Lightning (

Johnson ready to start against Lightning

‘Chad Johnson will take over the starting goaltender duties in the meantime. While there were no call-ups on Friday morning with Rochester set to open their season at night, Linus Ullmark did participate in a full practice with the team.’

Saturday’s Rochester Coverage

Veteran steals show in Amerks opener (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Photo gallery (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Lake Erie Monsters fall to Rochester Americans in season opener, 6-3 (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Ellis’ hat trick sends Amerks to opening night win (
Photo gallery (
Monsters Fall in Season Opener to Rochester (

Eichel gets memorable marker in Sabres loss

‘“We need to play a simpler game. We’ve got a lot of skill on the team, but I think if we play a simpler game and are harder in all zones, we’re going to create turnovers and then we can easily use it to our advantage.’

Sabres come to life a bit too late

‘“It was a special moment, something I’ll never forget,” Eichel said of his first NHL goal. “But it’s tough to really enjoy it when you don’t win the game. You come out in a season opener with so much riding on it. We had a great third period. At the end of the day, we fell a little bit short. It’s going to have to be a better 60-minute effort from all of us.”’

Senators’ challenge negates Kane’s goal

‘New to the NHL this year is a coach’s challenge which includes reviewing offsides plays that lead to a goal.’

Ottawa’s quick goal sets tone

‘Fresh off a “Party in the Plaza” and an electric season-opening video, the fans were ready to rock. They started a loud “Let’s go, Buffalo” chant just 10 seconds in – then got silenced by an Ottawa goal with 30 seconds gone.’

Prized rookie good as advertised but Sabres lose opener

‘Unfortunately for Eichel and the Sabres, they staggered through an offensively challenged first two periods, lost their starting goalie, Robin Lehner to a leg injury, had a goal by newcomer Evander Kane wiped away by the new coach’s challenge rule (the play was offsides), and they fell to the Ottawa Senators 3-1.’

Sabres lose Jack Eichel’s NHL debut

‘As the capacity crowd of 19,070 fans inside the First Niagara Center erupted like the Sabres had just won a playoff game, the second overall pick threw his arms in the air and was mobbed by his teammates.’

Sabres plan to use defense by committee

‘“We’re going to rely on all six guys,” defenseman Josh Gorges said Thursday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. “Some nights you’re going to play more depending on the situation in the game. We’re going to need everyone to chip in and play a regular shift, play 18 to 21 minutes.”’

Eichel scores goal, but Sabres lose opener

‘Along with losing the game, the Sabres also lost their starting goalie, Robin Lehner (11 saves), who left the game in the second period with a leg injury. Lehner was seen leaving the arena with a boot on his right foot following the game.’

Sabres come through in the nick of time

‘While the “Next Chapter” of Sabres hockey was supposed to start with the opening faceoff at 7 p.m., it took nearly 50 minutes of game time — two hours, 15 minutes real time — for Buffalo to give its faithful anything to cheer about. Like a crowd awaiting the first familiar note of the main act at a concert, those packed into the First Niagara Center on Thursday hung on every play, ready to jump at their first cue.’