Mike Harrington, The Buffalo News
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Mike Harrington

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Canisius College graduate Mike Harrington began his career at The News in 1987. He has covered the Buffalo Bisons since the 1988 opening of Coca-Cola Field, Major League Baseball since 1995 and the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series -- including 18 World Series -- and was a 2013 inductee into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. He will become a voter for the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2017 and is the chairman of the Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Harrington previously covered Big 4 college basketball for 15 seasons and was a Top 25 voter for 10 years.

Before during and after the game, this was all about the man they call Gio. As an organization, the Buffalo Sabres honored captain Brian Gionta's 1,000th NHL game with a video tribute and an on-ice presentation featuring his wife, children and parents that drew a standing ovation from the crowd Monday night in KeyBank Center. Gionta's inspired teammates, who respect …

On a night matching the NHL's No. 1 power play against its top-ranked penalty killers, the scorers got the upper hand on the defenders. The Buffalo Sabres got goals from Ryan O'Reilly and captain Brian Gionta on their first two power plays and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Monday before 18,564 in KeyBank Center. Buffalo has won two straight games a…

The Buffalo Sabres have won three of their last four games while the Florida Panthers are coming off Saturday's 7-0 destruction of the Chicago Blackhawks. For two teams who are likely to miss the playoffs, it still makes for an interesting meeting Monday night in KeyBank Center. The Sabres are 1-0-1 against the Panthers this season, with Anders Nilsson posting a 33-save…

Business must have been booming at the Peace Bridge late Saturday afternoon. Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs always make their presence known in Buffalo. But what we saw Saturday night in KeyBank Center was a full-scale takeover. There was a roar when the Leafs took the ice for warmups, an eruption when they entered to start play and "O Canada" was sang at levels you…

In the worst of times, Toronto Maple Leafs fans have poured into KeyBank Center for games against the Sabres. The intensity figures to be ramped up quite a bit Saturday night, with the Leafs well on the way to their first playoff berth in a non-lockout season since 2004. "We always love playing in Buffalo just because the Toronto fans always come down to support us and …

Through Friday's games. Last week in parentheses. 1. Washington Capitals. Backstrom is going to get top-5 Hart votes. (1) 2. Pittsburgh Penguins. For now at least, they are the Evil Empire. (2) 3. Columbus Blue Jackets. Waited so long for playoff run, might get hosed by lousy format. (3). 4. Chicago Blackhawks. Slumps in Minny, San Jose leave them as clear West…

Yes, Sidney Crosby gets away with things. Yes, there's a double standard in the NHL halls of justice. No, nobody really has any idea how suspensions and their penalties are meted out. It's what we've always known and what's been reinforced the last few days after the Penguins' star walked away scot-free with nary a minor penalty from incidents in back-to-back games. Mea…

Local foods got top billing Thursday as the Buffalo Bisons unveiled several new food, beverage and merchandise items they will offer for the 2017 season. When the gates open for the season opener April 6 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the team will offer Rich's fried cheese curds and Ru's pierogis at the concession stands, featuring varieties like buffalo wing and beef…

The Washington Capitals' huge Metropolitan Division showdown with the Columbus Blue Jackets is Russian Heritage Night Thursday in Verizon Center and Caps star Alex Ovechkin will be the center of attention in the warmup, but not for his booming shots. Ovechkin will be wearing specially designed Bauer Vapor 1X skates produced recently in Western New York and they will be …

When the tribute videos are running at the close of his career and the Hall of Fame montage is on display to celebrate his greatness, we will relive the goal we saw Sidney Crosby score Tuesday night in KeyBank Center. It will be on an endless loop as one of the most ridiculous of No. 87's career. Roll out all your descriptives. Any of them would apply. A one-handed b…

DETROIT -- There's not a lot of deep analysis needed to dissect the Buffalo Sabres' 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings here Monday night in their final game at Joe Louis Arena. After going 0 for 4 on the power play in their three games in California, the Sabres went 2 for 2 on goals from Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson. They also went 4 for 4 on their penalty kill. The res…

DETROIT -- Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson scored power-play goals and Robin Lehner made 34 saves as the Buffalo Sabres held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, Monday night in their last game in Joe Louis Arena. It was the second straight win for the Sabres, who entered the game 3-8-2 in their last 13 contests and had not won consecutive games since taking three straig…

DETROIT -- For all his years in hockey as a player and coach, no night stands out for Dan Bylsma more than June 13, 2009. The Buffalo Sabres coach was back in Joe Louis Arena for the final time Monday night and admitted each visit here over the last eight years has brought him flashbacks to the night his Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup. In Game Seven of the '09 …

DETROIT -- The Buffalo Sabres have a unique game here Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings, as it will be their final visit to Joe Louis Arena. The NHL's oldest building, which has hugged the Detroit River since 1979, is closing after the season and will be replaced by Little Caesars Arena in the downtown core in the fall. Tonight's game is a 7:30 start on NBC Spo…

DETROIT -- After 199 games with the Rochester Amerks, Brady Austin will get his chance to make his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabres. As speculated Sunday, the Sabres officially called up the 23-year-old defenseman Monday morning to fill in on their injury ravaged defense corps. He's expected to make his NHL debut Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings. It's a first …