BUFFALO – The first hat trick of Jack Eichel’s short career and the first witnessed by Sabres fans here since 2011 deserved to be celebrated wildly.
The slick center dominated Friday’s tilt late, scoring twice in a 10-second span to erase the Carolina Hurricanes’ brief third-period lead and secure the first three-goal outing of his 175-game career.
A night after registering zero shots on goal, Sabres coach Phil Housley said “something must’ve been triggered” in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In Zach Bogosian’s first two appearances following a 25-game absence, adrenaline carried the Sabres defenseman, coach Phil Housley said.
“Those first two games he was our best defenseman,” Housley said prior to Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes inside KeyBank Center.
But after those outings earlier this month, Bogosian experienced a normal dip returning from his lower-body injury.
“The adrenaline’s not there, now you’re in the game mode and getting prepared, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If the Sabres want to jumpstart prospect Alexander Nylander’s season, they have a pretty strong option.
Nylander, 19, has endured a rough four months. After suffering a lower-body injury in rookie camp, the slick forward missed all of the main camp and didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 17 with the Rochester Americans.
So far, Nylander has struggled in his second AHL season, compiling one goal, four points and a minus-8 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over the past five games, Robin Lehner has morphed into the Sabres’ backbone, tending his best goal this season.
But coming off Thursday’s 2-1 road loss in Philadelphia, Sabres coach Phil Housley wants to give goalie Chad Johnson some action.
So Johnson the backup will play tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, his first nod since Dec. 2 and just his second appearance in 11 games.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – It’s early, just 26 tilts into a 76-game season. Still, Buffalo Sabres prospect C.J. Smith hasn’t let up yet, compiling nine goals and a gaudy 27 points to start his AHL career.
So keep an eye on Smith, an undrafted winger the Sabres signed out of UMass Lowell late last season. The Americans’ leading scorer is on a 25-goal, 79-point pace over a full season.
How rare is a campaign like that?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Five years ago during the NHL lockout, Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly spent 12 games overseas with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Thanks to the work stoppage, the team featured a slew of notable NHL talents. In addition to O’Reilly, Metallurg also boasted Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar and Mats Zuccarello.
They also had a 20-year-old rookie defenseman who caught O’Reilly’s eye.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have played 42 periods at home this season, and based on their awful 4-9-1 record at KeyBank Center, the majority of them have been poor or downright awful.
In their last home outing before Tuesday’s 3-2 victory, the Sabres, like so many times this season, got booed off the ice by their surly fans.
That’s why the roar from the announced crowd of 17,454 following a three-goal second period against the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – This has been a different kind of slump for Ryan O’Reilly. When the Sabres center started the season slowly, he said he was “invisible,” contributing nothing.
O’Reilly eventually got going, scoring seven goals in 13 games. But after his last goal Nov. 17, he hit another rut. Right now, the veteran has an 12-game goal drought.
“It’s lack of confidence and lack of trusting myself again,” O’Reilly said prior to setting up ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons played 301 NHL games over nearly four and a half seasons before experiencing his first benching.
Naturally, sitting twice as a healthy scratch last week felt unusual for Girgensons, who has zero goals in his last 20 outings.
“I’ve been there injured, but it was definitely different being scratched, not a good feeling,” Girgensons said this morning. “It makes you feel a little bit useless, you always want to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – It’s no coincidence the Sabres’ first three-game point streak this trying season materialized with perhaps Robin Lehner’s best stretch of goaltending.
Lehner dazzled during the Sabres’ 1-0-2 road run, stopping 125 of the 133 shots he faced, an average of 42 saves a night.
With a little luck or a few stronger minutes here or there, the Sabres could’ve won all three tilts.... Read the full article