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CHICAGO – Rasmus Dahlin showed no signs of angst inside the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room Sunday night. The 19-year-old defenseman isn't worried about his play. Neither are his coaches or teammates. Dahlin explained following a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks inside United Center that people outside the Sabres are making too much of him being benched one night earlie…

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CHICAGO – The problem began late in the first period Sunday night, when Chicago Blackhawks rookie center Kirby Dach managed to skate behind the Buffalo Sabres' defense to break the scoreless tie. The Sabres' issues in the defensive zone worsened. Dach, an 18-year-old rookie, scored two goals and the Blackhawks pulled away with two more in the third period for a 4-1 win.…

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One simple headline in Tuesday's editions of Le Journal de Montreal says it all when it comes to Don Cherry. "Bon Debarras" screams the front-page banner over a picture of Cherry in the copy tweeted by Columbus Dispatch beat writer Brian Hedger, in town for Tuesday's Blue Jackets-Canadiens game in Bell Centre. Translation: Good riddance. That's where this corner s…

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PITTSBURGH — Alex Nylander sat at his stall in the PPG Paints Arena visitors' dressing room following a morning skate in which he lined up alongside three-time Stanley Cup winner and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Nylander untied his skates and smirked while listening to Patrick Kane, whose long list of accolades includes three Cup victories and a Hart Troph…

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The Florida Panthers played a super third period here Friday night, salvaging a point in what became a shootout loss to the Sabres. They were pedestrian before that and are clearly a work in progress under new coach Joel Quenneville. Fired 11 months ago in Chicago after a spectacular run that included three Stanley Cups, Quenneville brings instant credibility to a Flori…

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The preseason view from here is that the Toronto Maple Leafs are finally going to figure it out come spring and have a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in which they haven't won a single series since 2004. But what a long and winding road it figures to be. Implosion from within is always going to be a danger in media-crazy Toronto, where the Leafs have already e…

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LAS VEGAS – Patrick Kane is a self-professed hockey nerd. The South Buffalo native watched the Stanley Cup playoffs closely as Central Division rival St. Louis capped its run from last place in the league in January to the summit in June. It's a lesson Kane said his Chicago Blackhawks and a lot of other teams can learn from. "You're just watching as a fan, not really ro…

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Dennis Gilbert has become the latest Buffalo native to play in an NHL game. Gilbert, a 22-year-old graduate of St. Joe’s, was recalled from Rockford by the Chicago Blackhawks and made his debut Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues. Wearing No. 39, Gilbert played 12 minutes, 46 seconds on defense and had a two-minute minor penalty. The Blackhawks beat the Blues in …

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CHICAGO -- Right now, the Buffalo Sabres are doing just enough to lose. Especially on the road. Thursday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in United Center didn't prompt anguish in the Sabres' dressing room. It was more a sense of bewilderment about an ultra-loose affair that featured a combined 84 shots on goal and 133 attempts. "It's frustrating, pretty…

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CHICAGO -- No matter what they do, the Buffalo Sabres can't find a way to win in "The Madhouse on Madison." The United Center no longer houses a Stanley Cup champion and probably won't even host a playoff game for the second straight year but the Chicago Blackhawks own the Sabres here. South Buffalo native Patrick Kane scored the go-ahead goal in the shootout as the …

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CHICAGO — There's not going to be any Stanley Cup celebration in the Windy City and, for the second straight spring, it's looking like there won't be any playoff games at all. The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the NHL's most up-and-down teams all season but it looked like they had things solved last month when they roared back from last place in the Western Confer…

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CHICAGO -- Talk about timing. With their playoff hopes basically gone and their inability to win on the road a big reason why, the Buffalo Sabres find themselves playing a game Thursday night in the NHL arena in which they've waited the longest to find another win. How long has it been since the Sabres have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks in the United Center? The last…

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When the Sabres arrived in Columbus to open their post-break schedule, they were the sidelight story to the NHL's biggest ongoing drama. Pity the poor Blue Jackets. They've never won a playoff series since they were born in 2000, topped by the ungodly collapse that changed history last spring. Columbus, remember, won the first two games of its opening-round series in Wa…

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Phil Housley's message has not changed since he became coach of the Buffalo Sabres, yet his players' execution has deteriorated since a 10-game winning streak had them sitting atop the NHL more than two months ago. His frustrations with their play reached a boiling point Friday night, when the Sabres opened a seven-game homestand in KeyBank Center with an embarrassing 7…

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A seven-game homestand that could determine the direction of the Buffalo Sabres' season began with a thud Friday night. The Sabres, playing their third game in four nights, nearly came back from a three-goal deficit by scoring twice in the third period, but they lost to the last-place Chicago Blackhawks, 7-3, in KeyBank Center. Buffalo, now 25-20-6 and 3-7 over the p…