Casey Nelson recently returned to the lineup. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Casey Nelson to be scratched against Stars

BUFFALO – After playing three straight games, Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson will sit out tonight’s contest against the Dallas Stars as a healthy scratch.

Why? Well, Sabres coach Phil Housley said Nelson will be scratched mainly because his play “has dipped the last couple games.”

“We’ve got some other guys there available and we haven’t had a lot of success, so we’ve made some changes,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) battles Edmonton's Connor McDavid on March 4. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jack Eichel frustrated by suspension: ‘I don’t agree with it’

BUFFALO – Phil Housley wouldn’t go there. The Sabres coach simply said he disagreed with the two-game suspension the NHL slapped on center Jack Eichel, his captain and leading scorer, and left it at that.

But an aggravated Eichel offered a detailed description of the illegal check to the head he laid on Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 loss in Colorado.

The hit, Eichel said Monday, was legal and he shouldn’t ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville doesn't think the Sabres' road struggles are in the players' heads. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres have been awful on road for three months

BUFFALO – Since their 10-game winning streak ended Nov. 29 in Tampa Bay, the Sabres have been downright awful on the road, compiling the NHL’s worst record, a wretched 3-14-3 mark.

Road games, of course, can be tougher. For example, the visitor has the last change. The environment can be unsettling.

Still, every other team has won at least six road contests over that stretch and earned at least 13 points.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner tries to score on New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner on Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Timely goals, strong defense help Sabres down Islanders

BUFFALO – Suddenly, after weeks of regularly shirking their duties and allowing four or five goals a game, the Sabres have started clamping down defensively.

The results? Two wins over a three-game stretch while giving up just five goals. Following some downright awful defensive displays earlier in their seven-game home stand, the Sabres have finally started showcasing structure again.

Tuesday’s 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders doesn’t rank among their most exciting triumphs this ... 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

Kyle Okposo (21) battles Columbus' Ryan Murray (27) and Sergei Bobrovsky last Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Reeling Sabres hope new lines, defense pairs can help ignite them

BUFFALO – Sooner or later, coach Phil Housley needed to make some significant changes, right? The Sabres have fallen from first overall to three points out of a playoff spot.

Having compiled an awful 8-14-4 mark in their last 26 games, their marathon slump has surpassed the two-month mark. In their last 10 outings, they’re a dreadful 3-7.

In recent games, the Sabres have often shown little interest in playing defense and struggled to score ... Read the full article

Drew Stafford often skates on the fourth line. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Drew Stafford reunited with Mike Grier; Scott Wilson waived

BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.

It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.

“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skated this morning. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart game-time decision; Scott Wilson on waivers

BUFFALO – Tonight’s tilt will be lacking some star power and its two main attractions.

An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who skated with his teammates again this morning, a third straight game.

“We’re just being cautious with that,” coach Phil Housley said after the Sabres prepared for the New Jersey Devils inside KeyBank Center.

Meanwhile, a lower-body ailment will shelve New Jersey winger Taylor Hall, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has missed two games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel practices, has no return date yet

BUFFALO – About halfway through this morning’s practice, Sabres captain Jack Eichel stepped out on the ice and joined his teammates.

While Eichel, who has missed two games with an upper-body injury, did not take any line rushes inside KeyBank Center, his presence is a good sign.

The Sabres’ No. 1 center and leading scorer skated a bit as an extra defenseman and also took some reps on the power play.

Coach Phil Housley said ... Read the full article