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We can argue ad nauseam about goalie interference or toenail challenges, or about the inconsistency of the Department of Player Safety (Credit Due Dept: They nailed it with that 10-game suspension for Alex Burrows' dirtbag attack of Taylor Hall). You can say skipping the Olympics is a disaster, I can say I'd rather watch the NHL season continue to play out. Those debate…

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John Tavares is one of the elite offensive players in the NHL, the type of guy who makes defensemen sweat and dig pucks out of their net. Nearly every time the New York Islanders captain jumped over the boards Thursday, the Sabres' Marco Scandella and Casey Nelson hit the ice, too. For Scandella, it's a regular occurrence to match up against the elite. It's new for Nels…

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There weren't a lot of people who saw it – the empty seats may have outnumbered the full ones – and it was way more difficult to finish than start, but the Buffalo Sabres finally have their 1,000th home victory. The snapshots from the milestone will show them in their snazzy special uniforms. The Sabres broke out their Winter Classic whites Thursday and wore them in …

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At this point, putting the Sabres in those beautiful Winter Classic sweaters that they wore Thursday night in half-empty KeyBank Center is akin to putting lipstick on a pig. The Sabres are who they are. They're the worst team in the Eastern Conference and they're just waiting for Jason Botterill to start their teardown in advance of the trade deadline. (Memo to the GM: …

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The Buffalo Sabres host the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. Thursday. http://buffalonews.com/2018/02/08/five-things-to-know-as-sabres-host-new-york-islanders/ Follow along for live coverage from our team:

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The worst thing for young players – or any players, for that matter – is to think they've arrived. Now that Casey Nelson is on the Sabres' top defensive pair, he knows he's earned the trust of Buffalo's management and coaching staff. So what? "It's a good feeling, but I'm not satisfied," Nelson said Thursday. "I've just got to keep going forward." Nelson will skat…

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It's become one of the most-asked questions around the U.S. women's hockey team – how do you parlay beating Canada in the World Championships into winning an Olympic gold medal? The World Championships are held every year other than Olympic years, and the U.S. has won eight of the past 10, including the last five in a row. But after winning the inaugural Olympic tour…

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When the Sabres dumped the puck into their zone to start the morning skate, the top two defensemen went back for the retrieval. Rasmus Ristolainen wasn't one of them. The Buffalo blue-liner practiced on the second pairing with Nathan Beaulieu, and that's where he'll start Thursday's game against the New York Islanders. "He understands he hasn't played well since t…

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Evan Rodrigues wanted to keep things simple, win his battles and get to the front of the net. Thursday night, he did that. And got rewarded. Rodrigues had a goal and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres pulled out a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders in KeyBank Center. It was a sparkling debut for the new line which reunited Rodrigues (left wing) and Jack Eichel (cent…

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The Sabres are closing a five-game homestand. They're looking for their first victory. Here Five Things to Know as Buffalo hosts the New York Islanders on Thursday in KeyBank Center. 1. Changes up front Sabres coach Phil Housley is once again changing his lines. The new first line features a college reunion. Erstwhile center Evan Rodrigues is moving to left win…

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Jake McCabe has joined Zach Bogosian on the long-term injured list. The Buffalo defenseman underwent thumb surgery and will miss up to a month, the Sabres announced Thursday. McCabe was injured by a shot during the first period of Tuesday's overtime loss to Anaheim. McCabe had played in all 53 games for the Sabres, recording three goals and 12 points. Bogosian had…

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It will be a tournament going on halfway across the world, in the middle of their season and with games often being played in the dead of night in the United States or Canada. And while many NHL players remain disappointed they won't be playing in the Pyeongchang Olympics, they still think it will be hockey worth watching. Out of sight, out of mind? No way. "More tha…

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One of the joys for Brian Gionta has been watching the growing excitement of his three children as the Olympic Games get closer. They got the kids USA Hockey jerseys for Christmas, although his youngest, 5-year-old James, is still adjusting to the fact that dad is the captain of Team USA and not the Buffalo Sabres. "Our youngest is 5 and he still sees the Sabres on T…

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It's time for the Winter Olympics, which means it is time for Phil Housley to let his patriotism show. "I was part of USA Hockey, and I'm always rooting for USA Hockey," the Buffalo Sabres coach said Wednesday. "I've got deep roots there. USA Hockey really had an impact on my life whether I was playing or being a coach, so I'm all for the red, white and blue." The Mi…

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More often than not, it's easy to see why the Buffalo Sabres lose. Their efforts are typically subpar and so is their talent level. But nights like Tuesday leave the team searching deeper. They matched the Anaheim Ducks with 33 shots. They had a decided edge in five-on-five puck possession, spending 11:54 in the Ducks' end compared with eight minutes of offensive-zone t…