Jack Eichel has four goals and 14 points in 17 games this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel struggling to meet high expectations

PITTSBURGH – As the one-quarter mark of Jack Eichel’s third NHL season approaches, the Buffalo Sabres center possesses some pretty underwhelming statistics.

Seventeen games into another trying campaign, the slumping Eichel has four goals and 14 points. Over an 82-game season, that equals 19 goals and 68 points.

Those numbers would be fabulous for most NHL players. A Sabre hasn’t compiled 70 points since winger Jason Pominville in 2011-12.... Read the full article

Marco Scandella has been playing big minutes. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Marco Scandella sick; Alexander Nylander practicing with Amerks again

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella is “under the weather” but should play Tuesday in Pittsburgh, coach Phil Housley said.

Scandella, 27, missed today’s practice. With top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen injured, Scandella has become the Sabres’ top minute-muncher, skating 25 minutes some nights.

The newcomer has zero goals and three assists while averaging 23 minutes, 38 seconds of ice time in 17 outings this season.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel and Florida's Aaron Ekblad brace for a collision Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres stumble against Panthers, fall into last place

BUFFALO – Friday’s ugly 4-1 loss to the hapless Florida Panthers should erase any belief the Sabres are a better team than their meager record indicates.

The loss, the Sabres’ 11th in 16 tries (5-9-2), dropped them below the Panthers into last place in the 16-team Eastern Conference, a spot they have occupied regularly for years.... Read the full article

Evander Kane is on pace for a 49-goal season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Evander Kane becoming star as free agency approaches

BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres winger Evander Kane is happy, healthy and one of the NHL’s most dynamic players.

He has already compiled nine goals and 15 points in the opening 15 games. Going back to last year, he has scored 37 times in his last 73 appearances, the league’s fourth-highest total in that span. His 30 even-strength goals rank second in that time.

This season, Kane, center Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville have ... Read the full article

Washington's Taylor Chorney (left) checks Jack Eichel on Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres want Jack Eichel to shoot more

BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s 3-1 win, slick Sabres center Jack Eichel found himself with an odd two-on-one partner, fourth-liner Jordan Nolan.

Nolan, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, possesses some notable assets. Soft hands, however, aren’t among them. Nolan has scored 20 times in his 305-game career.

So Eichel shot the puck, right? Well, not exactly.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Vancouver's Thomas Vanek on Oct. 20. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres trying to ignite struggling power play

BUFFALO – In an otherwise glum season, the Sabres’ power play emerged as the NHL’s best a year ago, converting 24.5 percent of its opportunities.

Considering the Sabres kept their key personnel and hired coach Phil Housley, it wasn’t crazy to think they could become even more potent this year.

After all, few players in NHL history have performed better. Housley amassed 609 of his 1,232 points on the power play during his 21-year career ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu hasn't played since Oct. 20.. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres slowly getting healthier

BUFFALO – Nathan Beaulieu knows a visit to Montreal, his first since the Canadiens traded him to the Sabres almost five months ago, is coming up.

“I’ve had that circled for a while,” the defenseman said of Saturday’s road tilt.

The game, of course, would be meaningful to Beaulieu, who played 225 games with the Canadiens after they drafted him 17th overall in 2011.... Read the full article

Benoit Pouliot (67) skates beside Sabres linemate Kyle Okposo (21) with Washington's Brooks Orpik nearby Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Benoit Pouliot shines in Sabres’ win over Capitals

BUFFALO – Barely three minutes into the third period Tuesday, Sabres winger Benoit Pouliot grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and started creating a nifty-game winning goal.

In his 10-year career, Pouliot, 31, has scored 122 times. His latest, which sealed the Sabres’ 3-1 victory against the Washington Capitals, might be the prettiest.

“It isn’t the type of goal I usually get a chance to do, but it ended up good,” Pouliot said ... Read the full article

Zach Redmond has shuttled between the NHL and AHL for years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres recall Zach Redmond for hobbled Matt Tennyson

BUFFALO – For four seasons, Sabres defenseman Zach Redmond shuttled between the St. John’s IceCaps and the NHL, first as a Winnipeg Jets prospect and later as a Montreal Canadiens depth veteran.

When the NHL called, Redmond, 29, couldn’t simply drive an hour or so down the thruway. Winnipeg, for example, is about 3,000 miles away. Redmond had limited flights to chose from and sometimes a five- or six-hour travel time from Newfoundland.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) and Evander Kane have showcased strong chemistry in the past. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel line producing most of Sabres’ offense

BUFFALO – In their first weeks as Sabres linemates, Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Jason Pominville have quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s most lethal trios.

Each player has a team-leading 12 points. Kane and Pominville both have a team-high six goals, while Eichel, whose eight assists tops the Sabres, has four goals.

“They have a big impact on our team,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Wednesday.... Read the full article