Jason Pominville (29) has experienced raucous crowds in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Winning will help Sabres generate more excitement at home

BUFFALO – KeyBank Center hasn’t always been the NHL’s quietest venue. When the Sabres roared out of the 2005 lockout and briefly contended for the Stanley Cup during winger Jason Pominville’s first tenure here, the rink was often raucous and among the league’s noisiest.

Of course, 10 or 12 years ago, the Sabres regularly won games and ranked among the league’s highest-scoring teams. If you attended a game, chances are you’d witness something special ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville expected a better season for the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres lose to Senators in home finale, clinch 31st place

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville looked stunned. Mercifully, the Sabres closed out their home schedule Wednesday, and the finality of the most disappointing season in franchise history hit the veteran winger hard.

“I don’t think anyone really coming in envisioned this,” Pominville said after a 4-2 loss to the hapless Ottawa Senators secured the Sabres 31st place. “Certainly not myself, being on the outside coming in and hoping we’d be headed in the right direction.

“And ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander played his fifth NHL game Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Productive stretch earns Alexander Nylander recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville makes his voice heard. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jason Pominville strong veteran voice for struggling Sabres

BUFFALO – It’s no secret Sabres winger Jason Pominville has lost a step. The popular veteran’s 35 years old. What else would you expect?

Earlier in his 13th season, the former NHL All-Star scored just once over a 34-game stretch.

While Pominville has produced some offensive – after scoring in two straight games, he has 14 goals – at this stage of his career, leadership is his greatest asset.... Read the full article

Auston Matthews scored two goals and added a nifty assist Monday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t match Maple Leafs’ skill

TORONTO – The NHL’s worst team can certainly tease you. Before Monday’s 5-2 loss, in the last week, the Buffalo Sabres had beaten the Nashville Predators and the Maple Leafs, two heavyweights.

A week ago, the Sabres defeated the 48-win Maple Leafs here 3-2, ending their 13-game home winning streak. On Saturday, the Sabres triumphed 7-4 in Nashville, kicking around the league’s best team.

But the Sabres have demonstrated little consistency this trying season. Dreadful ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles Montreal's Nick Deslauriers on March 23. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart never doubted talents in tough times

TORONTO – In the toughest days of his season, as Sam Reinhart endured goal droughts of 10 and 15 games, the Buffalo Sabres winger said he never changed a thing.

Reinhart, 22, kept preparing the same way each day. Thirty-eight games into his third NHL season, he had mustered only five goals and 11 points.

But Reinhart trusted his approach would pay dividends.... Read the full article

Victor Antipin's rookie season is over. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres upset NHL didn’t suspend Scott Hartnell for hit

TORONTO – A seething Phil Housley paused before answering the question. The Buffalo Sabres coach clearly wanted to choose his words carefully while still expressing his anger over the NHL’s decision not to suspended Scott Hartnell.

In Saturday’s 7-4 win in Nashville, the Predators forward hit Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin from behind, knocking his head into the glass. The rookie was probably out cold before his body hit the ice.

Antipin will miss the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (15) bumps with Montreal's Paul Byron on Friday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Phil Housley calls out Sabres’ leadership group following loss to Canadiens

BUFFALO – For the Sabres, the NHL’s worst team, any minor success is usually fleeting. A bad period quickly overshadows the good one.

For the opening 20 minutes Friday, the Sabres responded strongly after two home losses, following their game plan and pumping pucks on net.

Then they started freelancing following a scoreless first period, fell behind and lost 3-0 to the hapless Montreal Canadiens.... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (82) shadows Toronto's Zach Hyman on March 15. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu to sit out against Canadiens

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is a “little sore” and will miss tonight’s tilt against his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, coach Phil Housley said.

But if Beaulieu, 25, hadn’t taken a puck to his upper body last game, he would still be scratched.

“He was not playing in this game tonight,” Housley said this morning.

Defenseman Josh Gorges, a Canadiens regular for eight seasons, will return tonight. Gorges, 33, has sat out ... Read the full article

Phil Housley's team has generated much momentum all season. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres need better efforts if they hope to be competitive

BUFFALO – It was a simple execution drill – “Attacking with wide speed and a middle lane drive,” Phil Housley explained – that forced the coach to lay into the Sabres.

Just hours after an embarrassing 4-1 home loss, the Sabres looked sluggish early during Thursday’s practice. At one point, associate coach Davis Payne barked at the players to stop coasting.

Housley finally had enough after watching them execute the drill incorrectly, yelling, “Get ... Read the full article