BUFFALO – By the middle of the winter, Linus Ullmark was beginning to steal games from Carter Hutton and supplant him as the Sabres’ starting goalie.
Ullmark, 25, began this season splendidly, compiling a sterling 9-1-3 record in his first 14 outings. He didn’t suffer a regulation loss until Dec. 8.
After Hutton and the Sabres started slumping, Ullmark remained a reliable presence most nights. It looked like he would become the undisputed No. 1 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.
Ten contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.
So Pominville, 36, will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sabres coach Phil Housley inserted Vladimir ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Earlier this season, goalie Carter Hutton reacted to the Sabres’ struggles by trying to steal every game.
Hutton, 33, quickly learned overcompensating wouldn’t work.
“I don’t think you can really play that way,” Hutton said Tuesday inside KeyBank Center. “I think I need to just control what I can. I think when I’m playing (like) that, just controlling what I can, I think that’s when I’m at my best.”
Hutton has adapted this ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the crowd roaring and wanted in on the action.
For a 27-second stretch late in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 shootout win, the Sabres started thumping every opponent in sight.
The normally docile fans inside KeyBank Center grew louder and louder with each hit.
So Okposo wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to hit St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres cleared one huge hurdle in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes by, uh, scoring a goal for the first time in more than three games.
“It certainly was a relief,” coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres ending their drought at 199:58. “I really like the way we started, and just taking a look at the game after the fact, I really liked the way we played. We had a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Late in the second period of Thursday’s ugly 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a disgruntled fan had enough of the Sabres’ awful performance and gave Jason Botterill his unvarnished thoughts.
“Botterill, this is garbage!” the fan yelled to the general manager, who was sitting in a nearby box, as the Sabres trudged to their third consecutive shutout loss, one of the lowest points in franchise history.
Right now, few would argue that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The night after Nikita Zadorov drilled Sabres captain Jack Eichel high after the whistle, Casey Nelson said he couldn’t sleep.
The defenseman said he was looking through three players Saturday afternoon in Colorado and didn’t see Zadorov hit Eichel into the boards and rip off his helmet.
That’s why Nelson glided up to Zadorov and never went after the Avalanche defenseman.
If Nelson had seen what happened to Eichel, he would’ve offered a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Late in the second period Monday, barely two minutes after Zack Kassian’s goal ignited the Edmonton Oilers, Sabres winger Jason Pominville committed a rare defensive-zone gaffe.
Pominville sensed a battled coming along the left boards, so he zeroed in on the puck. As he followed the play, he lost track of his man, allowing Darnell Nurse to slip past him from the point into the left circle.
A second later, the Oilers defenseman ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After receiving the weekend off, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton could start tonight’s game against superstar Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, his fifth nod in the last seven games and 40th appearance overall.
Following a rough six-week stretch in which he often took a backseat to Linus Ullmark, Hutton, 33, has started looking like his old self at times.
Hutton channeled his early-season form in two recent outings, stopping 70 of 73 shots ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Tage Thompson said he views his development as a marathon, not a sprint. Having played only 97 NHL games, the Buffalo Sabres winger understands he’s raw.
“Everyone’s got their own path,” Thompson said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. You never want to rush into things.”
So Thompson, 21, has embraced the Sabres’ plan for him. While they’ve kept him in ... Read the full article