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So you think the Sabres can ease into things with Rasmus Dahlin on board for the first time and Casey Mittelstadt in the lineup full time? Or that they can take a few weeks to let Carter Hutton get more comfortable as a starting goalie, have Conor Sheary work his way back from injury after missing almost all of training camp and have the Patrik Berglund/Vladimir Sobotka…

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Before the Buffalo Sabres played games last season, play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret and analyst Rob Ray would formulate a game plan. “We’d say, ‘You know any good jokes lately?’ ” explained Jeanneret in an interview over lunch. They were looking for jokes because the Sabres became a joke, finishing in last place in the National Hockey League. It was as tough for t…

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The No. 1 overall draft pick is automatically a key player in the chase for the Calder Trophy and Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is no different. The 18-year-old is labeled as one of the leading candidates for the award given to the NHL's best rookie but it will be no easy feat. For starters, defensemen have won the award just four times since 1990. That meager list in…

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1. Washington Capitals. The champs always start at the top in this view – and always have to worry about a Stanley Cup hangover the next season. In this case, after Alex Ovechkin & Co. staged the wildest summer celebration in NHL history, the real hangover could be a thing. They finally got to the top of the mountain after years of trying, but will they have any energy…

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The Buffalo Sabres have finished last in the NHL's overall standings in three of the last five years. They haven't made the playoffs since 2011. But they're a fashionable choice around North America to make major improvement, and perhaps jump into the Stanley Cup playoffs after one of the most sweeping summers of change in franchise history. Here are 10 points to ponder…

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This is the season of Rasmus Dahlin, the most talented defenseman the Sabres have drafted since some 18-year-old named Phil Housley showed up here 36 years ago. It's the season of change, where General Manager Jason Botterill swapped out most of predecessor Tim Murray's big names for some of his own. Exit Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Ryan O'Reilly. Enter the likes of …

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 KeyBank Center Information Address: One Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo, N.Y. 14203. Telephone: 716-855-4100 Box office phone: 716-855-4444, 1-888-467-2273 Website: keybankcenter.com Email: Customer service and ticket questions: account.services@sabres.com. General info questions: info@keybankcenter.com.   Sabres Store: Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Mondays…

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OCTOBER 3: Opening night of 2018-19 NHL regular season 4: Sabres opener against Boston Bruins 6: NHL Global Series, Edmonton Oilers at New Jersey Devils (Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden) 22: NHL Alumni Awards Gala (Toronto): Honorees: Borje Salming, Mats Sundin, Nicklas Lidstrom (Keith Magnuson Man of the Year), Bob Cole (Keith McCreary 7th Man), Eddie Olczyk …

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Back in June, days before Rasmus Dahlin was selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, Marty Biron offered this caution. “There are going to be growing pains,” said Biron, an NHL goaltender-turned-broadcaster who was a first-round pick (but not first overall) of the Sabres in 1995. “Especially at 18 years old, you’ve got to let them figure it out …

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A Sabres franchise long mired in the depths of the National Hockey League standings, finishing in last place in three of the last five seasons, had nowhere to go but up. And an offseason overhaul of the roster is inspiring optimism that Buffalo is poised to finally resurface as a playoff contender. Thirty-seven percent of those who voted in an informal Buffalo News poll…