Jeff Skinner (53) has already scored 13 goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jeff Skinner could enjoy one of Sabres’ greatest seasons ever

BUFFALO – Jeff Skinner tries to deflect credit for his recent scoring barrage. After all, the slick Sabres winger likes to point out, he has a terrific center in Jack Eichel and goals result from the players operating as a five-man unit.

“The line’s played well, the team’s played well,” Skinner said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “You’re not going to be able to score unless all five guys are contributing. I think we’ve had that ... Read the full article

The Sabres scratched Patrik Berglund on Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Patrik Berglund to return against Jets

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ depth this season offers them flexibility and options they did not enjoy in recent years.

So fresh off Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres coach Phil Housley plans to change his lineup for Friday’s road tilt against the Winnipeg Jets.

Patrik Berglund, a healthy scratch Tuesday, will replace Evan Rodrigues at center beside Jason Pominville and Vladimir Sobotka.

“I don’t think as a coaching ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has already played 14 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton enjoying starting role

BUFFALO – In his first nine pro seasons, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton hit the 50-game mark just once, in 2012-13 with the Rockford Ice Hogs, his final AHL campaign.

So while Hutton, 32, has enjoyed a solid NHL career tending goal for four teams, he has never really been the guy in the big leagues until this season.

Sure, he played a career-high 40 games as a rookie in 2013-14, but that was mostly subbing ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 29 saves Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Carter Hutton shines in Sabres’ win over Lightning

BUFFALO – Over their three-game winning streak, winger Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres have played just a period and a half of “real good” hockey.

“We’ve got some stuff to clean up,” Okposo said after scoring in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. “Obviously, we’re getting two points and good teams find a way to win.”

Yes, believe it or not, the Sabres are finally a good team again. They improved ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has one assist this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson happy with Sabres’ plan

BUFFALO – Having grown up with a father who played pro hockey, Sabres winger Tage Thompson has a unique understanding of the dues-paying process that accompanies developing into an NHL player.

Before Thompson’s father, Brent, began his coaching career, he played 121 NHL games as a defenseman in the 1990s, mostly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Brent, like his son, shuttled between the big leagues and the minors as a youngster and probably sat out ... Read the full article

Patrik Berglund has scored two goals this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Patrik Berglund to be healthy scratch against Lightning

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Patrik Berglund is a three-time 20-goal scorer with a hefty $4.7 million salary.

But 16 games into his Sabres career, Berglund, 30, has been a disappointment. So far, the Swede he has compiled as many healthy scratches (two) as goals.

Sabres coach Phil Housley said Berglund will be scratched for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. He also sat out Oct. 18 in San Jose.

“We got ... Read the full article

Vladimir Sobotka has scored three goals in 14 games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Vladimir Sobotka quietly key contributor to Sabres’ strong start

BUFFALO – Vladimir Sobotka’s arrival here was mostly overlooked. Of course, that isn’t surprising given the Sabres acquired the Czech forward in a blockbuster trade just hours after free agency opened.

The Sabres signed a few new players, including starting goalie Carter Hutton, early on July 1. Then they dished former NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues for three players and a first-round pick that night.

Winger Tage Thompson, perhaps ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart moved to the top line Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ line changes create balance

BUFFALO – By now, after 99 games as Sabres coach, Phil Housley knows his group well enough he’s confident making line changes.

Three weeks ago, when Housley put wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville beside top center Jack Eichel, the Sabres went on a tear. The line quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s best.

“It’s definitely an experience with the group and how they play and … realizing when they are going, to ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton watches Vancouver's Elias Pettersson try to reach the puck Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Resilient Sabres rally again late, beat Canucks in shootout

BUFFALO – Who would’ve thought the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock a year ago, would suddenly become such a resilient bunch?

Just 17 games into the season, coach Phil Housley has already developed trust among his players, helping the upstart Sabres build an identity and mature.

Take, for example, Saturday afternoon’s wild 4-3, come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks, a game in which the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 2:27 of ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart returned to Saturday afternoon's game with some stitches. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart ‘dominant’ late in shootout win

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel have been Sabres teammates for 263 games over the last three-plus seasons.

In that time, Reinhart, 23, has compiled 67 goals and 151 points. On two occasions, the winger enjoyed a three-goal outing. In five other games, he recorded three points.

But Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks might’ve been Reinhart’s best performance ever, according to Eichel.

“I thought Reino played awesome,” Eichel said. ... Read the full article