Evan Rodrigues has enjoyed a productive stretch. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues grew under Rangers’ David Quinn

BUFFALO – Sabres center Evan Rodrigues figured David Quinn would stay put at Boston University until the coach guided the Terriers to a national championship.

Quinn’s success at the NCAA level, of course, generated plenty of interest from the NHL. Still, Rodrigues, whose dynamic exploits nearly helped BU win a title in 2015, enjoys a close relationship with Quinn.

“You can always go into his office and talk about anything to him,” Rodrigues said prior ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss forming dynamic tandem

BUFFALO – Before Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss morphed into the NHL’s best goaltending tandem, they struggled mightily a year ago, enduring rough seasons.

In 2017-18, Lehner, 27, battled personal problems while tending goal for the hapless Sabres, the league’s worst team. Meanwhile, Greiss, 33, played behind the New York Islanders’ porous defense, which allowed a league-high 293 goals.

But these days, the goalies are thriving, enjoying career-best campaigns for the upstart Islanders, who showcase ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt left the ice early this morning. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt game-time decision for Islanders

BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt suffered a “little bang” and is game-time decision for tonight’s tilt against the New York Islanders, coach Phil Housley said.

If Mittelstadt can’t play, another rookie, winger C.J. Smith, will move in. Mittelstadt left the ice a little early this morning.

Update: A lower-body injury will force Mittelstadt to miss tonight’s game.

Having compiled two goals and seven points over the last 10 games, Mittelstadt, 20, is enjoying ... Read the full article

Matt Hunwick has played sparingly this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian injury gives Matt Hunwick opportunity

BUFFALO – Since recovering from a neck injury that sidelined him the first 33 games this season, Sabres defenseman Matt Hunwick’s action has been extremely limited.

After playing two straight contests before Christmas, Hunwick, 33, watched 13 consecutive games as a healthy scratch.

Following a strong outing Jan. 29, Hunwick sat out another five games until Sunday afternoon, when Zach Bogosian’s lower-body injury – coach Phil Housley said he is day-to-day – pressed him ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured a long slump. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Conor Sheary scores, keeps building confidence

BUFFALO – Barely a minute into Saturday afternoon’s second period, Sabres winger Conor Sheary intercepted Justin Abdelkader’s weak backhand pass outside the opposing blue line and zoomed into the slot before beating goalie Jimmy Howard.

The slick goal, just Sheary’s third in the last 34 outings, served as another reminder the diminutive UMass product ranks among the Sabres’ most talented forwards.

“Once I got the turnover, I think I just tried to attack quick,” Sheary ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson also sat out earlier in the season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson’s benching could be short

BUFFALO – This is probably only a temporary benching. Sabres coach Phil Housley plans to give winger Tage Thompson another opportunity soon.

But for the first time since Nov. 8 and the eighth time this season, Thompson, 21, sat out as a healthy scratch Thursday.

Center Johan Larsson replaced him for the Sabres’6-5 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Thompson, a big piece of the Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues, had played ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno is in his second season with the Wild. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Foligno enjoying tenure with Wild

BUFFALO – This trip was more relaxing. A year ago, Marcus Foligno said he experienced “a lot of nerves” visiting here as an opponent.

“Now it’s just another road game,” said the Buffalo-born Foligno, who’s in his second season with the Minnesota Wild after spending six years with the Sabres.

He added: “It’s always special to come back to Buffalo. You get a little bit excited.”

Foligno, 27, has settled in nicely with the Wild, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has strong chemistry with his linemates. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt brimming with confidence

BUFFALO – One of the best stretches of Casey Mittelstadt’s 57-game NHL career – two goals and four points over seven recent contests – hasn’t boosted the Sabres rookie’s confidence.

“I don’t think I’m more confident or anything,” Mittelstadt said prior to Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks inside KeyBank Center. “I don’t struggle in that department.”

Mittelstadt, 20, doesn’t lack confidence.

“I know what I’m capable of doing,” the slick center said.... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut hasn't played since Jan. 18. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Lawrence Pilut to return against Blackhawks

BUFFALO – Rejoice, Sabres fans. Rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut will return tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks after sitting out two straight games as a healthy scratch.

Sabres coach Phil Housley changed his blue line the last two contests, inserting Matt Hunwick and Nathan Beaulieu while Pilut, 23, watched.

While Housley said he liked what the veterans showcased, Pilut, a slick youngster fans have been clamoring to see, will play his first game since Jan. 18.... Read the full article

Goalie Carter Hutton could see plenty of action during the Sabres' home stand. ©2019, Hickling Images

Long home stand could make or break Sabres’ season

BUFFALO – For a struggling team that must rattle off wins if it hopes to snag a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, this is a gift. Starting tonight, the Sabres play their next seven games at home.

How rare is a seven-game home stand? It’s the longest in franchise history, tying a stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997.

The Sabres’ season hinges on this 15-day stretch. Realistically, they need to ... Read the full article