Carter Hutton has made difference with the Sabres. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Carter Hutton still out to prove himself

BUFFALO – Even in a new role as an NHL starter, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton’s mentality hasn’t changed. The popular veteran still acts like he’s trying to crack the big leagues.

“He’s just trying to prove himself every day, whether (it was) earlier in his career, when he was a backup, (or) now he’s in the No. 1 position where he’s played a lot of hockey,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who knows Hutton from ... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut has terrific vision. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Lawrence Pilut looking comfortable in NHL

BUFFALO – If you’ve watched Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut closely, you possibly noticed he often taps his stick on the ice before shooting the puck.

Why? The rookie said he wants to get rid of the snow that has accumulated on his blade.

“Get a feel for the puck a little better,” Pilut explained after recording an assist in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons made two huge plays Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons bounces back after getting scratched

BUFFALO – One play was a highlight-reel goal. Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons didn’t just steal the puck and outmuscle any ordinary defenseman to score a first-period goal Tuesday; he made former Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty look silly.

The other play, while not as memorable, was just as critical to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Kings. In the third period, Girgensons outraced Jeff Carter to negate an icing.

“It’s little details ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) scores the overtime winner Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres roar back to down Kings in overtime, end losing skid

BUFFALO – We’d seen contests like Tuesday’s come-from-behind 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings from the Sabres before. They played, oh, about eight of them during their thrilling 10-game winning streak last month.

After a nondescript or subpar opening 40 minutes or so, the Sabres often roar back late and win in overtime or a shootout.

It’s a risky way to win games, for sure, but those type of triumphs briefly elevated them to ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues falls in front of Philadelphia goalie Calvin Pickard on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres extend winning streak, get huge assist from crowd

BUFFALO – The Sabres sensed it right away, before the game even started. After about 8,000 fans watched them warm up, they knew it could be a special night inside KeyBank Center.

“It was talked about coming off the warm-up,” center Johan Larsson said following Wednesday’s exciting 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres’ seventh consecutive win. “We had a little feeling it was going to be buzzing.”

The rink buzzed like it hasn’t ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu sat out two straight games before Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Nathan Beaulieu looking to build on recent success

BUFFALO – Despite sitting out two straight games as a healthy scratch, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu returned for Wednesday’s 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers possessing plenty of confidence.

Beaulieu, 25, began generating offense before leaving the lineup, scoring his second goal this season before his first two-assist effort with the Sabres. The former first-round pick was also playing beside rookie Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick.

But after winning four straight games with Beaulieu, ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has scored zero goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres have developed ‘a little bit of cockiness’ during winning streak

BUFFALO – How dramatically have things changed for the Sabres in a year?

Last season, the Sabres carried an ugly six-game losing skid into their annual Thanksgiving Eve home tilt. The Minnesota Wild beat them 5-4 before they finally won again two nights later.

Right now, the Sabres are enjoying their first six-game winning streak in almost nine years. A win tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers inside KeyBank Center will give them their first seven-game ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has one assist this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson happy with Sabres’ plan

BUFFALO – Having grown up with a father who played pro hockey, Sabres winger Tage Thompson has a unique understanding of the dues-paying process that accompanies developing into an NHL player.

Before Thompson’s father, Brent, began his coaching career, he played 121 NHL games as a defenseman in the 1990s, mostly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Brent, like his son, shuttled between the big leagues and the minors as a youngster and probably sat out ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart returned to Saturday afternoon's game with some stitches. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart ‘dominant’ late in shootout win

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel have been Sabres teammates for 263 games over the last three-plus seasons.

In that time, Reinhart, 23, has compiled 67 goals and 151 points. On two occasions, the winger enjoyed a three-goal outing. In five other games, he recorded three points.

But Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks might’ve been Reinhart’s best performance ever, according to Eichel.

“I thought Reino played awesome,” Eichel said. ... 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