BUFFALO – Sooner or later it had to happen. Slumps are inevitable, and the Sabres, the NHL’s biggest early-season surprise, avoided one for nearly a month.
“You’re not going to go through a whole season without facing adversity,” captain Jack Eichel said following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the scorching New York Islanders, the Sabres’ third straight setback (0-2-1).
After winning nine of their first 12 games, the Sabres, having dropped four of the last five ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the Sabres visit Stockholm later this week, Swedish goalie Linus Ullmark would like to show his teammates something special in the historic city.
“Two wins,” said Ullmark, who backed up Carter Hutton for Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders inside KeyBank Center.
Ullmark’s words underscore that while an in-season trip to Europe might be special, the Sabres plan to take it seriously.
The Sabres, who leave for Sweden today, play ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For the first time this season, the Sabres have hit a rut.
At 9-3-2 overall, they’re still in terrific shape, mind you. But they’ve lost three of their last four games (1-2-1), getting outscored 14-7 by their opponents.
A day after allowing four goals in the opening 10:44 of their 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals 6-1, the Sabres face the scorching New York Islanders.
The Islanders have won eight straight games entering ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Kyle Okposo played on Long Island, the New York Islanders had a saying about their antiquated home rink in Uniondale, Nassau Coliseum.
“It’s an old barn,” a smiling Okposo said. “We’d always say, ‘It was a dump, but it was our dump and we loved it.’ It was home.”
Well, it was the Islanders’ regular home until 2015, when they left for the sparkling, ultra-modern Barclays Center 24 miles away ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Suddenly, after weeks of regularly shirking their duties and allowing four or five goals a game, the Sabres have started clamping down defensively.
The results? Two wins over a three-game stretch while giving up just five goals. Following some downright awful defensive displays earlier in their seven-game home stand, the Sabres have finally started showcasing structure again.
Tuesday’s 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders doesn’t rank among their most exciting triumphs this ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss morphed into the NHL’s best goaltending tandem, they struggled mightily a year ago, enduring rough seasons.
In 2017-18, Lehner, 27, battled personal problems while tending goal for the hapless Sabres, the league’s worst team. Meanwhile, Greiss, 33, played behind the New York Islanders’ porous defense, which allowed a league-high 293 goals.
But these days, the goalies are thriving, enjoying career-best campaigns for the upstart Islanders, who showcase ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt suffered a “little bang” and is game-time decision for tonight’s tilt against the New York Islanders, coach Phil Housley said.
If Mittelstadt can’t play, another rookie, winger C.J. Smith, will move in. Mittelstadt left the ice a little early this morning.
Update: A lower-body injury will force Mittelstadt to miss tonight’s game.
Having compiled two goals and seven points over the last 10 games, Mittelstadt, 20, is enjoying ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his four-year NHL career, center Jack Eichel has never consistently earned more ice time than in the past three weeks. The Sabres’ most meaningful games in seven seasons have prominently featured their captain.
Other than Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win, a game the Sabres controlled, allowing Phil Housley to rest Eichel a bit for Sunday’s tilt, the coach has utilized his leading scorer a lot. Eichel has skated at least 20 minutes, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Three straight losses. A rough stretch in which they’ve dropped 11 of 15 games. An anemic offense that has produced just five goals in the last eight contests.
The Sabres closed 2018 like the opened it, struggling to win games and score goals.
Did we mention captain Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ leading scorer, left Monday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders nursing an upper-body injury after playing just 2:42?... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Robin Lehner said he couldn’t put a feeling on being back. Sure, it was a little weird sitting in KeyBank Center’s visiting dressing room. The goalie spent three seasons with the Sabres, an experience he’s grateful for.
But Lehner, 27, said he doesn’t want to look back too much.
“I got an opportunity,” Lehner said Monday prior to his stellar 39-save effort in the New York Islanders’ 3-1 win against his old team, ... Read the full article