The Sabres Report - January 21, 2017

Determined O'Reilly wills Sabres to needed win   

Buffalo News:

‘“I’ve got to be one of the key guys that has to be a leader on the stat sheet,” O’Reilly said. “In the room, I’ve got to be a voice. If we want to get back and get in the playoffs – which is possible – it’s going to be tough, and it’s got to start with myself first and go from there.”’

Mike Harrington: Hard-earned win is nice but soft 'D' remains major issue   

Buffalo News:

‘But from this view, even in the nice glow of a hard-earned win, the defense corps that General Manager Tim Murray presented to Bylsma hasn’t been remotely good enough and that’s the biggest red flag to this entire mess. Now it’s even thinner without McCabe, clearly its No. 2 guy.’

Sabres Notebook: When McCabe went down, defense adjusted   

Buffalo News:

‘“Any time you lose one of the guys in the back end, especially a guy that plays the big minutes like Jake does, you come together as a group,” defenseman Cody Franson said. “You know that everybody is going to play with everybody, so you prepare yourself mentally for that.”’

Sabres Notebook: Vanek finds his niche with Red Wings   

Buffalo News:

‘“The only thing that’s changed is I’ve made a lot more friends over the years,” Vanek said about the number of moves in the last four years. “Buffalo is awesome. I always say it to other people. Before Kyle signed here I talked to him. I said you’re going to love it. It’s a great place. Did I want to leave? No. But again at the time I just didn’t know which direction the franchise was going. I had a few questions. None of them got answered so I guess I was selfish and wanted to move on.’

Quick hits: Sabres 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)   

Buffalo News:

‘Anders Nilsson made 32 saves to improve to 6-1-1 at home.’

Inside the Sabres: Robin Lehner, his Trump mask, the backlash   

Buffalo News:

‘“I admire a lot of things about the guy,” Lehner said. “You know what? I don’t like a lot of things, too. But I also recognize we’re all humans. People are looking for this perfect-world type human being – robots, I guess, to rule. You know what? We’re all flawed.’

Ryan O’Reilly helps push Sabres past Red Wings in OT   

Olean Times Herald:

‘Few players put more pressure on themselves than O’Reilly, who always seems to be lamenting his missed opportunities and demanding more of himself, even in good times.’

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers seeing less action   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“He’s been in and out of the lineup,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “You can only put 12 in there and Nick, (he’s) effective at some points in some situations for our team.”‘

Saturday's Detroit Coverage

Wings let Sabres off hook, settle for OT loss (Detroit News)
Wings welcome back Helm’s speed, competitiveness (Detroit News)
Photo gallery (Detroit News)
Petr Mrazek solid, but Red Wings fall to Sabres, 3-2, in overtime (Detroit Free Press)
Darren Helm scores in return; Wings count on his speed, physicality (Detroit Free Press)
Fog in Detroit forces Red Wings to stay overnight in Buffalo (Detroit Free Press)
Red Wings fall in OT as three-game winning streak snapped (Ann Arbor News)
Red Wings not happy with power play, non-call in OT loss (Ann Arbor News)
Photo gallery (
Photo gallery (Buffalo News)

Okposo gives Sabres 3-2 OT win against Red Wings   


‘”It was a big-time play from our guy wanting to be a leader on this team,” Bylsma said. “He willed that goal in the back of the net.”‘

Okposo caps Sabres comeback vs. Red Wings   

The Sports Xchange:

‘”He’s a game-breaking player,” Okposo said of O’Reilly. “He can do that, though. He can change the game like that with his smarts, his skill.”‘

Sabres dump Red Wings 3-2 in overtime   


‘This game has been turned on its ear since O’Reilly’s goal. Buffalo is pressing the play into the Red Wings end. You just get the feeling another goal will come for the blue and goild before the end of regulation.’

From The Locker Room: Sabres-Red Wings   


‘”At times we were frustrated, I myself was very frustrated, but to stick with it and keep doing things the right way and getting a win, it just shows it’s something we have to build on. We’re not happy with the standings right now, but all we can do is take it one at a time. That’s our mindset going out here. Let’s just win the next one and hopefully we’ll throw something together here.”‘

Red Wings' Vanek still loves Buffalo   


‘While in Buffalo, Vanek wanted to hear exactly what Darcy Regier’s plan was for the Sabres and he really heard nothing so that’s why he didn’t re-sign. Vanek said, “Buffalo is awesome, I always say to other people, like before Kyle signed here I talked to him and said, ‘you’re going to love it, it’s a great place’, you know did I want to leave? No, but at the time, I didn’t know which direction this franchise was going, I had a few questions and none of them got answered, so I guess I was a little selfish and wanted to move on.”’

5 Observations: Sabres top Red Wings 3-2 in OT   


‘*Side note* Kudos to Rasmus Ristolainen — he logged a career-high 35:24 in ice time, including 4:28 during overtime.’