Casey Mittelstadt (37) fends off Arizona's Christian Fischer on Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Despite loss to Coyotes, Sabres finish October in NHL’s top spot

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s 23rd birthday started off splendidly, with the Sabres captain scoring a power-play goal just minutes in Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

When winger Jeff Skinner made 2-0 later in the first period, it seemed like the Sabres could cruise to their sixth straight home win to open the season.

But the Sabres, the NHL’s biggest early-season surprise, have an alarming penchant for squandering two-goals leads.

It happened Monday ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton will start his eighth game tonight. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ goalie rotation has helped boost early-season success

BUFFALO – After watching Linus Ullmark’s 41-save shutout Friday, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton will start again tonight, his eighth nod this season.

Thanks to their two-game trip to Sweden next week, the Sabres’ schedule is jam-packed.

So through 12 games, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has mostly rotated the netminders, trying to balance their workload. Krueger even sticks to the goalie plan he and assistant coach Mike Bales have devised following shutouts.

“It’s something that ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel celebrates his first goal Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Captain Jack Eichel looking like superstar during Sabres’ torrid start

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s night started ominously, with the Sabres captain passing up a glorious scoring chance in front of wonky San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones.

It wouldn’t be the last time Eichel did it early in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime victory, a wild contest in which the Sabres roared back thanks to their young star’s dynamic performance.

“(I was) a little frustrated with myself more than anything,” Eichel said after scoring the overtime winner, ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill brought in four new players who have contributed to the Sabres' success. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Jason Botterill says coaches, players have contributed to Sabres’ hot start

BUFFALO – Seven wins in their first nine games have positioned the upstart Sabres among the NHL’s early-season elite.

Right now, having already earned 15 points, they’re tied for first overall and rank first in the Eastern Conference entering tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

Few expected the Sabres, who earned just 16 points over their final 33 outings as they imploded last season, would turn things around so quickly.

The offseason additions – ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton posted two shutouts last week. ©2019, Hickling Images

NHL third star honor caps Sabres goalie Carter Hutton’s interesting week

BUFFALO – How’s this for an interesting week? Sabres goalie Carter Hutton posted two shutouts, yet he didn’t even start consecutive games.

Instead of awarding Hutton another nod, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger started Linus Ullmark both games following the veteran’s dazzling performances.

But Hutton, who earned the NHL’s third star for the week ending October 20, isn’t worried about his playing time. He knows the coaching staff must make some hard decisions.

“I don’t know ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton posted a 25-save shutout Monday afternoon. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Ralph Krueger has Sabres looking like playoff contender early in tenure

BUFFALO – Few figured coach Ralph Krueger could transform the Sabres so quickly that – gasp – a playoff berth would feel possible this season.

Players need time to understand new messages and systems. Besides, Krueger inherited a hapless team that won just two games last March.

It would take time – maybe months, even a season – before the Sabres showed real progress, right?

Well, six games into Krueger’s tenure, the Sabres are still ... Read the full article

Carter Huttom has played three games this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start against struggling Stars

BUFFALO – Other than switching to goalie Carter Hutton this afternoon against the Dallas Stars, the Sabres will utilize the same lineup as the past two games inside KeyBank Center.

That means forward Curtis Lazar, who was recalled from Rochester Americans on Sunday, will be scratched.

Despite the Stars’ sorry 1-4-1 record, they possess a lot of talent.

“They’re a much, much better team that their record,” said coach Ralph Krueger, whose Sabres have ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark made 40 saves Monday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start against Panthers

BUFFALO – Fresh off a terrific 40-save outing in his first appearance this season, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will start tonight’s home game the Florida Panthers.

Ullmark, 26, looked strong throughout Monday’s 4-3 overtime road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, helping the Sabres steal a point.

The Swede has compiled a 2-2-1 record with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in five career outings against the Panthers.

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) skates past Shea Weber on Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Dynamic power play helps Sabres beat Canadiens in overtime

BUFFALO – Officially, center Marcus Johansson’s winner 1:30 into overtime Wednesday doesn’t count as the Sabres’ ninth power-play goal this season.

Johansson secured the Sabres’ third win in four tries (3-0-1), an exciting 5-4 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, five seconds after center Phillip Danault’s slashing penalty expired.

So, yes, on paper, Johansson’s one-timer from the right circle goes down as an even-strength score. But Danault hadn’t even gotten back into the play yet.

Make ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo scored in Saturday's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Veteran Kyle Okposo thriving on Sabres’ ‘fourth line’

BUFFALO – Throughout his career, Ralph Krueger has refused to number lines. The Sabres coach said it’s one of his core philosophies.

Krueger believes everyone, no matter how small the role, contributes to a team’s success. Ranking forward trios or defense pairs would take away from that.

“I just (have) the respect for the depth that teams need to be successful and the role players that I need,” Krueger said after the 2-0 Sabres prepared ... Read the full article