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Mike Sullivan won Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017 but this is going to have to be his best coaching job by far if the team is to even stay in postseason contention. The Penguins have had an astonishing run of injuries this season and the big one hit last week: Sidney Crosby is down after hernia surgery and probably out for six weeks. That will…

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A trip to meet the Washington Capitals is hard enough on a normal game night. The fans "Rock the Red" in Capital One Arena, the term used for everyone being dressed in the team color. "The Horn Guy" sits near the press box blowing away to get fans into the "Let's Go Caps" chant. There's a buzz from the opening faceoff that never stops and it's been like that for many ye…

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The Buffalo Sabres have played 4,076 regular season and playoff games in their history as they head into their 50th anniversary season. Try to pick the most memorable of all time? That's no small task. But this choice has everything you need to be No. 1. A classic overtime thriller. In the Stanley Cup final, no less. Iconic goals. Odd events. And an unforgettable atm…

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Unexpected memories. Magic performances. Playoff drama. And, yes, even some heartbreaking losses. They're all spread throughout Buffalo Sabres history. Here are our choices for the 50 most memorable games in franchise annals: 1. May 20, 1975 – 5-4 OT win over Philadelphia: Sabres win famous "Fog Game" in first Stanley Cup Final contest at home. Rene Robert's goal at 18:…

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Colin Miller's hockey career took a couple of major jolts earlier this year. So when he spoke on a conference call to the Buffalo media in July after the Sabres acquired him from the Vegas Golden Knights, it was more than understandable to hear a voice that was a tad downcast at the other end of the line. Vegas, of course, went to the Stanley Cup final in its amazing…

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CHICAGO — Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko got plenty of inquiries about the impact of their short summers and how tough it will be to defend a Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin got prodded to give insight on what the St. Louis Blues are in for trying to defend their title. But the NHL Player Media Tour also showcased the other side of Game 7 f…

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CHICAGO — Before you think about this season, there's plenty of relevance in probing how the last one ended for Jack Eichel. And that's not a reference to the Buffalo Sabres' miserable finish or the firing of Phil Housley. Eichel went to the World Championships in Slovakia, where he first met new coach Ralph Krueger to get started on building the player-coach relationsh…

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Tage Thompson knew darn well the question was coming Wednesday. And he handled it in a mature way. Amerks coach Chris Taylor said Thompson showed plenty of maturity at the end of last season too. Good signs indeed. Thompson isn't going to be the most important prospect at Sabres development camp this week in Harborcenter or during training camp in September. But circ…

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Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who grew up in East Amherst and played at the Nichols School, announced his retirement from the NHL Tuesday morning after a career spanning 1,035 games and two Stanley Cup victories. Orpik, 38, was born in San Francisco but was raised in Western New York and played youth hockey in the area. He was named for U.S. "Miracle on I…

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VANCOUVER – There are a lot of reasons the job of an NHL general manager is a tough one. Here's the latest one to add to the list: How do you know what kind of team to build these days? It sure seemed like the NHL was going back to a speed game when the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Last year's Washington-Vegas Cup final certainly h…

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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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No Goal. Those were Lindy Ruff's final two words to fans in Niagara Square when a rally was held in 1999 to celebrate the Buffalo Sabres' run to the Stanley Cup final. You all know what they mean. In the annals of Buffalo sports, there is Wide Right and there is No Goal and every other disappointment has to take its place in line. It was 20 years ago Wednesday whe…

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The St. Louis Blues just won the Stanley Cup on Wednesday and were feted with a parade and rally under the Gateway Arch on Saturday. The official end of hockey season? Hardly. Things are done on the ice for now but will really start heating up off of it. The NHL Awards are Wednesday night in Las Vegas, with Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin joining St. Louis goalie Jordan…

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BOSTON – It was seven games over 17 days, the first Stanley Cup final to go the distance since 2011. In the end, the St. Louis Blues completed their worst-to-first transformation and won the Cup for the first time in their history with Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 at TD Garden. Here are seven random thoughts in the wake of the final: 1. Hea…

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BOSTON – Gary Bettman had given Ryan O'Reilly the Conn Smythe Trophy. Then St. Louis teammate David Perron took care of the big moment. As a 3-year-old idolizing his 8-year-old brother, Cal, O'Reilly had practiced this in the family kitchen of their home outside London, Ont. Take the Stanley Cup and hold it over your head. Use whatever you could. A garbage can, milk jug…