Matt Hunwick hasn't played since Dec. 18. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick patiently waiting to play

BUFFALO – Doing extra work on and off the ice to stay sharp for your next opportunity is the easy part for healthy scratches.

“It’s not so much my body, my hands, my legs,” said Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who has been scratched 12 out of the last 15 games. “It’s more the mental part of it. The game’s really fast. You step in the position you’re in, a lot is on the line, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel joined his teammates again this morning. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel snags memorabilia; Phil Housley unsure about defense

BUFFALO – Before Sabres captain Jack Eichel left the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, he snagged some special memorabilia for his house.

In addition to having his game jersey signed by the entire Eastern Conference squad and a stick autographed by everyone in the game, the high-scoring center received an item he has coveted.

“I grabbed one of (Sidney) Crosby’s sticks,” Eichel said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “That was cool. I had been ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored seven goals this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo showcasing more physicality

BUFFALO – Over the last week or two, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has finally started showcasing signs of his old self, playing a heavier, straight-line game.

“He’s going to the net a lot better,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. “I think he’s attacking off the wing and he’s shooting a lot more.”

Not surprisingly, Okposo has started scoring a bit. After enduring ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons knows Tampa Bay well. ©2019, Hickling Images

Lightning could become one of best teams in NHL history

BUFFALO – Forty-four days ago, the first-place Sabres roared into Tampa Bay enjoying a 10-game winning streak. While they lost 5-4 and fell one point behind the Lightning, the end of their raucous run felt like the start of something special.

It seemed like the foes could be battling for the Atlantic Division’s top spot all season.

Well, since that night, the Sabres are 6-9-4. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is a stunning 17-1-1.

Yes, Tampa Bay ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has scored 28 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jack Eichel out against Panthers; Jeff Skinner needs votes

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel’s upper-body injury doesn’t appear to be serious.

Eichel, 22, missed Thursday’s 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center and will also sit out Saturday’s road tilt against the Boston Bruins, Sabres coach Phil Housley said.

The slick center, who earned a spot in the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, will be reevaluated early next week, Housley said.

“It’s very encouraging,” Housley said of the news. “Obviously, Jack’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel left Monday's game early. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel out next two games, will be reevaluated next week

BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres captain Jack Eichel at least two games, coach Phil Housley said this morning.

The Sabres’ leading scoring will miss tonight’s contest against the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center and Saturday’s road tilt versus the Boston Bruins.

Eichel, who earned a spot in the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, will be reevaluated early next week, Housley said.

“It’s very encouraging,” Housley said of the news. “Obviously, Jack’s been ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues will should sub for Jack Eichel on the top line. ©2019, Hickling Images

Other Sabres must step up with Jack Eichel injured

BUFFALO – Thanks to center Jack Eichel’s upper-body injury, Sabres coach Phil Housley leaned on Evan Rodrigues heavily throughout Monday’s 3-1 loss, skating him a career-high 22 minutes, seven seconds.

Rodrigues, 25, had never even cracked the 20-minute mark in his previous 113 NHL outings.

Expect Rodrigues to see plenty of action again tonight against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center.

Eichel, who skated only four shifts before leaving Monday’s tilt against the New York ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has 11 points this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel’s injury gives Evan Rodrigues chance on Sabres’ top line

BUFFALO – Thanks to center Jack Eichel’s upper-body injury, Sabres coach Phil Housley leaned on Evan Rodrigues heavily throughout Monday’s 3-1 loss, skating him a career-high 22 minutes, seven seconds.

Rodrigues, 25, had never even cracked the 20-minute mark in his previous 113 NHL outings.

Expect Rodrigues to see plenty of action again Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

Eichel, who skated only four shifts before leaving Monday’s tilt against the New York Islanders, did ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson broke his ankle late in training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson nearing return from broken ankle

BUFFALO – Scott Wilson couldn’t even walk yet. Still, after breaking his right ankle, the Sabres winger wanted to enjoy some hockey-related activities.

So instead of staying idle, at about the four-week mark of his recovery, Wilson, 26, started going on the ice and shooting pucks … from a chair.

“As basic as you could think of it, that’s pretty much what it was,” Wilson said prior to Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons (28) battles Calgary's Mark Giordano last season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons week-to-week; Lawrence Pilut to be scratched

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons, a steady presence on the fourth line this season, is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury, coach Phil Housley said.

Girgensons, 24, has formed a strong duo beside center Johan Larsson, giving the Sabres some valuable minutes.

“Zemgus has done a terrific job,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I think with Larsson and him together, they have a unique chemistry, and whoever we put down there ... Read the full article