Sam Reinhart (23) and Jeff Skinner (53) celebrate a Sabres goal Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres honor past captains, annihilate Devils before raucous crowd

BUFFALO – One by one Rick Jeanneret introduced them, 15 in all, including some of the greatest names in Sabres history.

Gilbert Perreault, the most iconic name, received a rousing standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 19,070. The fans roared for Danny Gare and Jason Pominville, two of the most popular players in franchise history.

Before the Sabres started Saturday’s 7-2 annihilation of the New Jersey Devils, they kicked off the home portion ... Read the full article

Danny Gare scored a hat trick in the 1975-76 season finale to reach the 50-goal mark. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres at 50: Danny Gare stole spotlight from Rick Martin to reach 50 goals

BUFFALO – More than 43 years later, Sabres legend Danny Gare still sounds surprised he hit the prestigious 50-goal mark in the grandest of fashions.

That night, after all, was supposed to be about Rick Martin’s pursuit of the milestone. The sniper needed to score just once to reach 50 goals for the third consecutive season.

Gare, meanwhile, had scored 47 times entering the season finale on April 4, 1976 against the Toronto Maple Leafs ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 28 saves Thursday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start; Evan Rodrigues to sit again

BUFFALO – As promised, the Sabres held a team meeting this morning and skipped the pregame skate before their 50th anniversary home opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Except that to be the Sabres’ new routine. New coach Ralph Krueger believes his players do enough off-ice work to get their bodies ready.

In lineup news, Krueger said goalie Carter Hutton, fresh a strong 28-save outing in Thursday’s 3-1 win in Pittsburgh, will start ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton started Thursday's game. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ plan for goalies Carter Hutton, Linus Ullmark still unclear

BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.

Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.

But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.

Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article

Jack Hughes could go first overall June 21. ©2019, Hickling Images

Devils thrilled to win NHL Draft Lottery; Sabres to pick seventh

TORONTO – After winning Tuesday’s NHL Draft Lottery, Ray Shero wouldn’t confirm the New Jersey Devils plan to select center Jack Hughes first overall.

Like most NHL general managers, he probably wants to respect the work his scouts have put in and leave a little suspense.

But the Devils, who own the first pick for the second time in three years, will almost certainly draft Hughes come June 21 in Vancouver.

Hughes, who has spent ... Read the full article

Jack Highes talks before tonight's NHL Draft Lottery. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Devils win NHL Draft Lottery; Sabres get seventh pick

TORONTO – The New Jersey Devils won tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery and the right to select American center Jack Hughes first overall June 21 in Vancouver.

The Devils had the third-highest odds, 11.5 percent, for the top pick.

The Buffalo Sabres, who had the fifth-highest odds for the top selection, 8.5 percent, will pick seventh. The Sabres, of course, won last year’s lottery and drafted defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first overall.

Hughes, who has spent the ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson played five games with the Amerks. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres recall Casey Nelson from AHL conditioning assignment

The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Casey Nelson today from his AHL conditioning assignment with the Rochester Americans.

Nelson, 26, played five games with the Amerks, compiling one assist and four penalty minutes. He hasn’t played with the Sabres since suffering an upper-body injury Dec. 4.

He could play in tonight’s road tilt against the Devils. Defenseman Marco Scandella suffered an undisclosed injury in Friday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers and didn’t accompany the ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons roars past the New York Rangers' Marc Staal on a breakaway Fridsay. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres regroup for road trip after taking step back

BUFFALO – When the Sabres enjoy some success, their identity is pretty straightforward, really. They come at you in waves and showcase a rigid defense.

Nothing fancy, right?

“It’s our work, our reloads and our checking detail,” coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres’ identity. “It’s pretty simple. When we do those three things well and on top of that manage the game, we’re a tough team to play against.”... Read the full article

C.J. Smith (left) celebrates his first NHL goal beside Kyle Okposo. ©2019, Hickling Images

C.J. Smith, Lawrence Pilut score first NHL goals, help Sabres beat Devils

BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s 5-1 victory, Sabres rookie C.J. Smith utilized his speed and cranked a shot off the post, a sign the speedy winger’s first NHL goal could be imminent.

Smith, 24, kept buzzing around the New Jersey Devils zone, creating more scoring chances.

“Got a little more confident tonight,” Smith said after scoring 4:14 into the second period in his sixth NHL game, a goal that put the Sabres ahead for good.... Read the full article

Drew Stafford often skates on the fourth line. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Drew Stafford reunited with Mike Grier; Scott Wilson waived

BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.

It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.

“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article