Jason Pominville played in the first Winter Classic. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

10 years later, Winter Classic memories still special for Sabres

NEW YORK – When the NHL announced more than 10 years ago it planned to stage an outdoor game in Buffalo, the novel idea the league named the “Winter Classic” was met with some skepticism, including from one of the Sabres’ marquee names.

“Originally, (I was) probably like, ‘I don’t want to play outside,’” former Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell told the Times Herald by phone Friday.

NHL players are creatures of habit. They don’t ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville's goal ended a stunning stretch. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally score goal, still lose to Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The most mind-boggling streak in the Buffalo Sabres’ 47-year history mercifully ended 11:18 into the third period of Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins.

When Jason Pominville one-timed linemate Jack Eichel’s pass by Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry from the right circle, the Sabres scored their first goal in almost four games – 232:09 to be exact – ending a stunning stretch of futility.

The Sabres hadn’t scored a goal since winger Kyle Okposo’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) battles for space with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby on Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres blanked again, set franchise record for futility

BUFFALO – The Sabres haven’t scored a goal in almost 181 minutes, have lost 10 of their last 11 outings and get booed off the ice following every period.

How bad are things right now?

In Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL’s worst team possibly hit the lowest point in its 47-year history. Seriously.

For the first time ever, the hapless Sabres have been shut out in three consecutive games.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian (47) celebrates a goal March 27. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres have played Penguins tough; Zach Bogosian set to debut

BUFFALO – In their last meeting Nov. 14 in Pittsburgh, the Sabres held two early two-goal leads before the Penguins roared back to beat them 5-4 in overtime.

On March 5 in Pittsburgh, the Sabres went up 3-0 in the first period before imploding and losing 4-3.

The Sabres have played the Penguins, winners of the last two Stanley Cups, tough during some recent meetings. They just can’t close out games.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart had three points Tuesday. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blow late lead, lose to Penguins in OT

PITTSBURGH – Center Jack Eichel said the Sabres played scared to lose. Winger Sam Reinhart said they sat on their lead late. Goalie Robin Lehner said they let the potent Penguins keep attacking them.

The sound bites following Tuesday’s wild 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins sounded familiar, like throwbacks to last season, when the Sabres often imploded late.

While the Sabres have changed coaches and much of their personnel this season, they haven’t still ... Read the full article

Sidney Crosby has started slowly this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sidney Crosby, Penguins struggling entering tilt with Sabres

PITTSBURGH – Right now, superstar Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, look nothing like their normal selves.

Crosby, 30, has scored zero goals in the last 11 games. If the slick center doesn’t score tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, a team he has dominated over the years, it would equal a career-long goal drought.

Incredibly, the most prolific scorer of his generation hasn’t created much, either, mustering only three assists ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel signed a new contract Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel ready for duties that accompany contract

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel wouldn’t go on his own. So when the Sabres convened for their post-practice stretch at center ice, veteran Jason Pominville nudged the young star into the circle.

The scene inside HarborCenter was fitting. Eichel, in his first skate since signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension Tuesday, surrounded by his teammates, leading them in the stretch.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will be with the Sabres at least nine more years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, Jack Eichel complete massive contract extension

BUFFALO – The Sabres and center Jack Eichel finalized the largest contract in franchise history Tuesday night, an eight-year extension worth a whopping $80 million.

The average annual value of $10 million puts Eichel, 20, in line with some of the NHL’s other dynamic young stars.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the youngster picked first overall in 2015, one spot ahead of Eichel, signed an eight-year extension worth $12.5 million a season earlier this ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will face Sidney Crosby tonight in Pittsburgh. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres to face loaded Penguins lineup

BUFFALO – It’s no secret NHL teams field stronger preseason lineups at home, especially toward the end. So Sabres coach Phil Housley knew the Pittsburgh Penguins would dress better players tonight than the first time the teams met eight days ago.

“It’s getting toward the end, right?” Housley said this morning after the Sabres skated inside HarborCenter. “They’re trying to get their guys geared up. But at the same time, it puts us in a ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill wants youngsters to push for spots. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill expects prospects to battle for roster spots

BUFFALO – Right now, just one day before the Sabres open training camp, veterans and established youngsters seemingly take up every roster spot for the upcoming season.

Counting returning regulars and offseason additions, the Sabres have 13 forwards and seven defensemen, more than a full lineup.

So what about the prospects? Could some force themselves onto the roster?... Read the full article