Carter Hutton has already played 14 games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton enjoying starting role

BUFFALO – In his first nine pro seasons, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton hit the 50-game mark just once, in 2012-13 with the Rockford Ice Hogs, his final AHL campaign.

So while Hutton, 32, has enjoyed a solid NHL career tending goal for four teams, he has never really been the guy in the big leagues until this season.

Sure, he played a career-high 40 games as a rookie in 2013-14, but that was mostly subbing ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 29 saves Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Carter Hutton shines in Sabres’ win over Lightning

BUFFALO – Over their three-game winning streak, winger Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres have played just a period and a half of “real good” hockey.

“We’ve got some stuff to clean up,” Okposo said after scoring in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. “Obviously, we’re getting two points and good teams find a way to win.”

Yes, believe it or not, the Sabres are finally a good team again. They improved ... Read the full article

Vladimir Sobotka has scored three goals in 14 games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Vladimir Sobotka quietly key contributor to Sabres’ strong start

BUFFALO – Vladimir Sobotka’s arrival here was mostly overlooked. Of course, that isn’t surprising given the Sabres acquired the Czech forward in a blockbuster trade just hours after free agency opened.

The Sabres signed a few new players, including starting goalie Carter Hutton, early on July 1. Then they dished former NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues for three players and a first-round pick that night.

Winger Tage Thompson, perhaps ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart moved to the top line Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ line changes create balance

BUFFALO – By now, after 99 games as Sabres coach, Phil Housley knows his group well enough he’s confident making line changes.

Three weeks ago, when Housley put wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville beside top center Jack Eichel, the Sabres went on a tear. The line quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s best.

“It’s definitely an experience with the group and how they play and … realizing when they are going, to ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton watches Vancouver's Elias Pettersson try to reach the puck Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Resilient Sabres rally again late, beat Canucks in shootout

BUFFALO – Who would’ve thought the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock a year ago, would suddenly become such a resilient bunch?

Just 17 games into the season, coach Phil Housley has already developed trust among his players, helping the upstart Sabres build an identity and mature.

Take, for example, Saturday afternoon’s wild 4-3, come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks, a game in which the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 2:27 of ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has played nine games this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson to return against Canucks

BUFFALO – Over the past three weeks, the Sabres have taken a different approach to winger Tage Thompson’s development.

Instead of sending the youngster to the AHL, they’ve kept him and scratched him seven out of the last nine games, including four straight.

But they don’t want Thompson, 21, to sit for too long, so they’ve occasionally been working him in.

In Thursday’s 6-5 overtime win in Montreal, coach Phil Housley thought the play ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has sat out four straight games. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could play against Canucks

BUFFALO – Technically, Sabres winger Tage Thompson is a game-time decision for Saturday afternoon’s home tilt, coach Phil Housley said.

Still, it seems like Thompson, a healthy scratch the last four games, could return against the Vancouver Canucks. Thompson practiced at right wing beside center Johan Larsson and Patrik Berglund this afternoon. Meanwhile, Zemgus Girgensons, a regular on the fourth line, rotated in.

Thompson, 21, a scratch seven times this season, hasn’t played since ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark stops Mark Stone's breakaway Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Linus Ullmark quietly plays strong game

BUFFALO – Watching your teammates throttle an opponent and pile up goal can be a negative and positive experience, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark said.

“It’s both boring and really fun,” Ullmark said after making 27 saves in Saturday afternoon’s 9-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. “We had some really good goals today and guys battling up front, so that’s a lot of fun for me when I’m seeing that. …

“I’m happy as long as ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has started three games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start against Senators

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will start this afternoon’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, his first nod at home this season.

In three appearances, Ullmark is 2-0-1 with a 2.00 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and one shutout. The Swede hasn’t played since making 32 saves in last Saturday’s 5-4 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I think he’s just been very comfortable in the net,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton watches the play Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres waste goalie Carter Hutton’s strong effort in overtime loss

BUFFALO – Carter Hutton’s grip on the starting job isn’t exactly firm. Following a strong start, the Sabres goalie had cooled off a bit in recent outings before Tuesday’s stellar effort in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.

While Hutton, 32, has handled the load early, playing nine of the first 12 games, he has competition from backup Linus Ullmark, who has looked impressive in limited action.

Hutton began Tuesday sporting an ... Read the full article