From The Locker Room: Sabres-Lightning

‘”Same trend…we had a tough two periods to start the game. We turned it up in the third and it’s just too late. We can’t keep relying on that. We gotta come out more desparate early on.”‘

5 Observations: Lightning storm past Sabres 4-2

‘I hate that Jack Eichel spent a big chunk of Thursday’s game centering a line with Brian Gionta and Marcus Foligno. Yes, Sam Reinhart and others were shuffled into the mix, but the Sabres need a new combination.’

Midseason Buffalo Sabres Report Card

‘Sometimes we forget that Ristolianen is still only 22-years-old. He’s cooled off a bit as of late but has some of the most impressive numbers for a Sabres defenseman in a long time. In 40 games Ristolainen has *27* points (3G, 24A) and a -2 plus/minus.’

Ben Bishop wins return to Lightning

‘”I thought we started working better in the third period,” Kane said. “Being aggressive. Not giving them any breakouts. That’s the way we have to play. We can’t sit back because they will take it to us.”‘

Sabres left questioning calls following loss to Tampa

‘In the third period, Kane had scored to bring the Sabres within one goal when he was called for his second, third and fourth penalties all at once, this time for a high stick against Lightning goalie Ben Bishop. Kane received two minutes for the high stick and two more for unsportsmanlike conduct in addition to a 10-minute misconduct.’

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

Rochester Amerks’ Alex Nylander works toward being great (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Martin rejoins amerks from Elmira (Amerks.com)

Sabres goaltenders are taking care of business

‘The Sabres tandem has the sixth-best save percentage in the NHL at .920. To put that in perspective, the last time the Sabres goaltenders finished with a combined save percentage above .920 was the 2009-10 season when Ryan Miller, Patrick Lalime and Jhonas Enroth combined to post a .924 save percentage.’

Sabres Notebook: An opportunity for precious points

‘”I think as you try to win hockey games and add points to your column, you’re always keeping an eye on the standings, you’re always keeping an eye on the teams ahead of you and you’re hoping they don’t get points when you are getting points,” Bylsma said.’

Sabres surging halfway through season

‘Given up for dead two weeks ago, the Sabres, 3-0-1 in the last four games, hit the official halfway point tonight in Tampa Bay playing perhaps their best hockey all season.’

Predators claim Derek Grant from Sabres

‘“Hopefully, Derek’s got an opportunity … going to Nashville,” he said. “We thought with Cal O’Reilly being a center we could call up, that was part of the plan as well.”’

Thursday’s Tampa Bay Coverage

Sabres, Lightning heading in opposite directions (AP)
Preview: Sabres at Lightning (NHL.com)
Lightning vs. Sabres: Projected lines; injuries (TampaBayLightning.com)

Sabres lose Grant. Lehner stays home

‘Buffalo would like the depth at center, but they do have Cal O’Reilly on the farm. Dan Bylsma said getting him to the Amerks is what they were trying to do, “That was part of the plan there. Obviously we knew it was a possibility. Hopefully Derek’s got an opportunity for Derek going to Nashville, but we thought with Cal O’Reilly being a center, we could get through with that part of the plan as well.”’

All-Star Okposo has already impressed with work ethic

‘”It’s interesting to see the off-ice habits,” O’Reilly said. “You [play against him] and see him last year, seeing how hard he works and the way he can create, the way he can score, you know you see that stuff. But get to know him better and getting to play with him, you see the way he takes care of himself away from the rink. He’s always working on his game. He’s always in the gym, he’s shooting pucks, he’s doing stick-handling stuff, he’s always working on his game and it’s cool to see how guys get the way they are.”‘

Thursday’s Rochester Coverage

Rochester Amerks lose 3-1 to Hartford Wolf Pack (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Amerks nipped by Wolf Pack, 3-1 (Amerks.com)
Amerks announce goalie moves (Amerks.com)
Jensen, Halverson buoy Pack to win in Rochester (HartfordWolfPack.com)

Sabres’ O’Reilly hopes to show the city a winning team

‘“When you can score goals and get life in this building, that’s tough to play against,” O’Reilly said. “That’s what we want. We want to create, get goals and keep feeding off them like we did there. It’s definitely a positive thing.”’