BUFFALO – On Dec. 13, goalie Carter Hutton made 25 saves in a 3-1 win over Arizona, improving to 13-8-1 in his first season with the Sabres.
At that point, Hutton’s campaign was going splendidly. The loquacious veteran had quickly become the No. 1 netminder the Sabres envisioned when they signed the career backup to a three-year, $8.25 million contract July 1.
But since then, Hutton, 33, has lost seven of his last eight starts ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s 5-1 victory, Sabres rookie C.J. Smith utilized his speed and cranked a shot off the post, a sign the speedy winger’s first NHL goal could be imminent.
Smith, 24, kept buzzing around the New Jersey Devils zone, creating more scoring chances.
“Got a little more confident tonight,” Smith said after scoring 4:14 into the second period in his sixth NHL game, a goal that put the Sabres ahead for good.... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Late in the 2016-17 season, the Sabres rewarded C.J. Smith with two NHL games after the forward left UMass Lowell following his junior year to sign an entry-level contract.
And then, Smith, 24, quietly went to the Rochester Americans, where he morphed into a top scorer and an intriguing prospect.
Still, the Sabres kept Smith in the AHL nearly a season and a half before finally summoning him this morning.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By about halfway through the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss, which inched the Boston Bruins within two points of the third-place Sabres, it appeared officials would let just about anything go.
At one point, 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara wasn’t penalized for tackling 5-foot-8 Sabres winger Conor Sheary.
So when defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen went off for kneeing with the Sabres clinging to a 2-1 lead in the waning minutes, the capacity crowd ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark could’ve been forgiven if it took him a little time to acclimate to his new role as a backup, perhaps the NHL’s toughest job.
No. 2 netminders often go a week or more without playing. When they finally start, they often receive the second of back-to-back games.
But Ullmark, 25, has transitioned nicely into his new gig, winning eight of his first 13 appearances subbing for No. 1 goalie ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Having earned 20 of a possible 22 points when leading after two periods entering Tuesday, the odds of the Sabres imploding against the last-place Florida Panthers seemed slim.
Ten weeks into the season, the Sabres had zero regulation losses – a terrific 9-0-2 mark – when up after 40 minutes.
So Tuesday’s 5-2 setback to the Panthers, a game the Sabres led 2-1 at the beginning of the third period, might be their ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After skating with his teammates for the first time this morning since suffering an upper-body injury Nov. 29, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe figures he can return by the weekend.
McCabe, who will miss his ninth game tonight, has skated eight of the last nine days, only taking Monday off.
While McCabe only has one team session under his belt – a light morning skate as the Sabres prepared for the Florida Panthers – ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Thirty-four games into his fourth NHL campaign, Sabres captain Jack Eichel is enjoying more than just a career year; the ultra-talented center is putting together one of the greatest seasons in franchise history.
Fresh off a four-goal, nine-point week, Eichel is up to 14 goals and 45 points entering tonight’s tilt against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center. At his current pace, he would compile 34 goals and a whopping 109 points over ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As soon as Carter Hutton grabbed the puck, the entire Sabres bench stood up. His teammates knew their goalie was eyeing the empty net about 175 feet away.
And for an oh-so-brief second, it appeared Hutton would shoot it down the ice and cap off Thursday’s victory in the craziest of fashions by scoring his first NHL goal.
“My first thought was he was 100 percent going to get it,” Sabres winger Evan ... Read the full article