Sean Malone played only 38 games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Sean Malone signs AHL contract with Amerks

BUFFALO – Center Sean Malone’s 2018-19 season started ominously. After some impressive performances early in his second NHL training camp, the West Seneca native injured his knee in the Sabres’ preseason opener.

So instead of competing for a spot on the big club, Malone, 24, didn’t play his first game until Nov. 7 with the Rochester Americans.

Injuries limited Malone to only 38 appearances during a frustrating campaign. The Harvard product never seemed to ... Read the full article

Sean Malone endured a tough season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sean Malone signs with Amerks; Sabres give qualifying offers to NHL regulars

BUFFALO – The Rochester Americans have signed West Seneca’s Sean Malone, who wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the parent Sabres, to a one-year AHL contract, the team announced today.

Injuries limited Malone, 24, to only 38 games during a frustrating 2018-19 campaign. The center hurt his knee in the Sabres’ preseason opener and never seemed to find a groove.

In two seasons with the Amerks, Malone has compiled 16 goals, 35 points and ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner could score 50 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner might’ve found long-term home in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Three-quarters into the season, Jeff Skinner hasn’t shown many signs of cooling off. Having scored a team-high 36 goals through 60 games, the slick winger could become the first Sabre to hit the prestigious 50-goal mark in 26 years.

Entering this afternoon’s home game against the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, Skinner is scoring at a torrid 49-goal pace over his first season with the Sabres.

While Skinner, 26, hasn’t scored in the ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored seven goals this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Kyle Okposo showcasing more physicality

BUFFALO – Over the last week or two, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has finally started showcasing signs of his old self, playing a heavier, straight-line game.

“He’s going to the net a lot better,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said prior to Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. “I think he’s attacking off the wing and he’s shooting a lot more.”

Not surprisingly, Okposo has started scoring a bit. After enduring ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has been celebrating a lot this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner ready for first meeting against Hurricanes

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner knows returning to Carolina, where he became the face of the Hurricanes over eight seasons, will have special meaning.

Skinner, 26, was a star from the get-go in Raleigh, scoring 31 goals and winning the Calder Trophy as a rookie in 2010-11. He surpassed the 30-goal mark two other times.

During some lean seasons, Skinner, who has already scored 29 goals in 43 games, was usually the Hurricanes’ most ... Read the full article

Rene Robert still spends some of the year in Buffalo. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres legend Rene Robert happy in Buffalo, excited about current team

BUFFALO – Nearly 47 years after he first arrived here, Rene Robert hasn’t officially left town. The high-scoring winger and member of the legendary French Connection line still uses “we” when he talks about the Sabres.

Sure, these days, Robert lives much of the year in Punta Gorda, Fla., but he returns every year and spends the summer in Williamsville.

“This is my home,” Robert told the Times Herald on Sunday. “I’ve been here since ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary has been a welcome addition to the Sabres. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Conor Sheary returns for first game against Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Almost five years ago, Conor Sheary’s pro prospects were dim.

After scoring nine goals and 28 points in 34 games as a senior in 2013-14, only one team showed interest in the diminutive University of Massachusetts product.

“I didn’t have any offers, really,” the speedy Buffalo Sabres winger said prior to Monday’s 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win against the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena. “Pittsburgh was the only offer I had.”

Well, technically, it ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Rasmus Dahlin's 21st NHL game. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Penguins ripe to be beaten by Sabres

PITTSBURGH – If not tonight, then when?

Right now, having won five straight games, the scorching Buffalo Sabres are enjoying their best streak in about nine years. Meanwhile, having lost eight consecutive contests and eight of the last nine (1-7-1), the Penguins are reeling.

So perhaps the Sabres can end their eight-game losing streak to the Penguins tonight at PPG Paints Arena.... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) has already scored 13 goals this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Jeff Skinner could enjoy one of Sabres’ greatest seasons ever

BUFFALO – Jeff Skinner tries to deflect credit for his recent scoring barrage. After all, the slick Sabres winger likes to point out, he has a terrific center in Jack Eichel and goals result from the players operating as a five-man unit.

“The line’s played well, the team’s played well,” Skinner said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “You’re not going to be able to score unless all five guys are contributing. I think we’ve had that ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt knows he must evolve. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt focusing on defensive side

BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt has produced goals and points at every level of hockey. So right now, 10 games into his NHL career, the rookie said he isn’t worried about his offense.

“I’m sure the offense will come, it usually does,” Mittelstadt said prior to Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center. “I’m pretty good with that.”

Mittelstadt, 19, has been an offensive stud wherever he plays. Last season, he ... Read the full article