Jack Eichel has 11 goals this season after scoring three Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waste Jack Eichel’s first hat trick, fall to Hurricanes in OT

BUFFALO – The first hat trick of Jack Eichel’s short career and the first witnessed by Sabres fans here since 2011 deserved to be celebrated wildly.

The slick center dominated Friday’s tilt late, scoring twice in a 10-second span to erase the Carolina Hurricanes’ brief third-period lead and secure the first three-goal outing of his 175-game career.

A night after registering zero shots on goal, Sabres coach Phil Housley said “something must’ve been triggered” in ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner makes a save Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hear cheers in rare home win

BUFFALO – The Sabres have played 42 periods at home this season, and based on their awful 4-9-1 record at KeyBank Center, the majority of them have been poor or downright awful.

In their last home outing before Tuesday’s 3-2 victory, the Sabres, like so many times this season, got booed off the ice by their surly fans.

That’s why the roar from the announced crowd of 17,454 following a three-goal second period against the ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons sat out two games last week. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons earns promotion after benching

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons played 301 NHL games over nearly four and a half seasons before experiencing his first benching.

Naturally, sitting twice as a healthy scratch last week felt unusual for Girgensons, who has zero goals in his last 20 outings.

“I’ve been there injured, but it was definitely different being scratched, not a good feeling,” Girgensons said this morning. “It makes you feel a little bit useless, you always want to ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville's goal ended a stunning stretch. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally score goal, still lose to Penguins

PITTSBURGH – The most mind-boggling streak in the Buffalo Sabres’ 47-year history mercifully ended 11:18 into the third period of Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins.

When Jason Pominville one-timed linemate Jack Eichel’s pass by Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry from the right circle, the Sabres scored their first goal in almost four games – 232:09 to be exact – ending a stunning stretch of futility.

The Sabres hadn’t scored a goal since winger Kyle Okposo’s ... Read the full article

The Sabres hired Jason Botterill in May. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Despite struggles, GM Jason Botterill confident Sabres on right path

BUFFALO – Barely one-quarter into Jason Botterill’s first season as general manager, the Sabres are a mess, tied for the NHL’s lowest point total with a measly 16.

A team expected to improve and showcase an exciting style under new coach Phil Housley has regressed and averaged a league-low 2.2 goals through its first 25 games. Slick center Jack Eichel, who signed an $80 million contract extension in October, has struggled along with many ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill is a rookie general manager. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

GM Jason Botterill staying positive throughout Sabres’ struggles

BUFFALO – Two months into Jason Botterill’s first season as general manager, the Sabres are a mess, tied for the NHL’s lowest point total with a measly 16.

A team expected to improve and showcase an exciting style following a last-place finish has regressed and averaged a league-low 2.2 goals through its first 25 games. Slick center Jack Eichel, who signed an $80 million contract extension in October, has struggled along with many of the ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart is on a pace for a career-low 16 goals. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart all over Sabres lineup

BUFFALO – Want a telltale sign of a bad team? Constant line juggling.

In the last week, for example, Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has skated at right wing beside centers Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Johan Larsson.

The Sabres’ futility – they’ve lost nine of the last 10 games and have the NHL’s worst offense – has forced coach Phil Housley to constantly tinker, moving players all over the lineup.... Read the full article

Jordan Nolan had a two-goal performance last week. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres promote Jordan Nolan to scoring line

BUFFALO – To ignite the NHL’s worst offense, Sabres coach Phil Housley has been changing lines almost every day, moving players up and down the lineup.

So it wasn’t shocking to see winger Jordan Nolan, who has scored 22 times in 315 career NHL games, at left wing on a “scoring” line beside center Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo during this morning’s practice.

When you’ve been blanked in two straight games, promoting a fourth-liner ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen vies for the puck with Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman on Tuesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres blanked again by Lightning

BUFFALO – Winger Evander Kane paused for a moment following the Sabres’ second straight shutout loss. The veteran wanted to collect his thoughts, not mince any words.

With Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lighting, the Sabres have been blanked in back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 17 and 18, 2014, some of the franchise’s darkest days.

Back then, the Sabres fielded the NHL’s weakest lineup. Winning wasn’t a priority.

These days, ... Read the full article

Seth Griffith piles up points in the AHL. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Jacob Josefson out 4 to 6 weeks; Seth Griffith sent to Amerks

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jacob Josefson is out four to six weeks after tweaking the ankle that recently sidelined him, coach Phil Housley said. Winger Seth Griffith, meanwhile, cleared waivers today and was assigned to the AHL.

So, does that mean a forward will be recalled from the Rochester Americans? Housley said that would be decided Tuesday.

For now, winger Matt Moulson, a healthy scratch the last six games, is slotted to return for ... Read the full article