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

Jason Pominville (29) chats with Jeff Skinner (53), Jack Eichel (9) and Rasmus Dahlin (26) during Tuesday's game. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jason Pominville moving up among Sabres’ all-time leaders

BUFFALO – It has become a regular occurence this season, Jason Pominville’s 14th in the NHL and 10th with the Sabres. Every few weeks or so, the popular winger seems to reach a new milestone or move up among the franchise’s all-time leaders.

Pominville, whose focus has been a huge asset over his splendid 1,037-game career, hasn’t paid much attention to any of it.

“I try to just enjoy the moment, live in the moment,” ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner tries to score on New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner on Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Timely goals, strong defense help Sabres down Islanders

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

Jeff Skinner scored twice Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres growing frustrated after overtime loss to Hurricanes

BUFFALO – So what do the reeling Sabres do now?

While their roaring third-period comeback helped them earn a point Thursday, they still lost 6-5 in overtime, allowing the Carolina Hurricanes to pass them in the standings.

Having lost seven of the last 10 games, the Sabres have dropped to 10th in the Eastern Conference and five points out of the final playoff spot. The same team that ranked first overall in late November could ... Read the full article

Marcus Foligno is in his second season with the Wild. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Foligno enjoying tenure with Wild

BUFFALO – This trip was more relaxing. A year ago, Marcus Foligno said he experienced “a lot of nerves” visiting here as an opponent.

“Now it’s just another road game,” said the Buffalo-born Foligno, who’s in his second season with the Minnesota Wild after spending six years with the Sabres.

He added: “It’s always special to come back to Buffalo. You get a little bit excited.”

Foligno, 27, has settled in nicely with the Wild, ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo (21) battles Columbus' Ryan Murray (27) and Sergei Bobrovsky last Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Reeling Sabres hope new lines, defense pairs can help ignite them

BUFFALO – Sooner or later, coach Phil Housley needed to make some significant changes, right? The Sabres have fallen from first overall to three points out of a playoff spot.

Having compiled an awful 8-14-4 mark in their last 26 games, their marathon slump has surpassed the two-month mark. In their last 10 outings, they’re a dreadful 3-7.

In recent games, the Sabres have often shown little interest in playing defense and struggled to score ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith has compiled 41 points in 41 AHL games this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Reeling Sabres showcase new lines, defense pairs

BUFFALO – Sooner or later, coach Phil Housley had to make some significant changes, right? The Sabres have fallen from first overall to three points out of a playoff spot.

Having compiled an awful 8-14-4 mark in their last 26 games, their marathon slump has surpassed the two-month mark. In their last 10 outings, they’re 3-7.

In recent games, the Sabres have shown little interest in playing defense and struggled to score goals. Their power ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton got yanked after 40 minutes. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres play loose defensively in ugly loss to Blackhawks

BUFFALO – An agitated Phil Housley mentioned it four times during his three-and-a-half minute news conference following Friday’s ugly 7-3 loss to the last-place Chicago Blackhawks.

The Sabres don’t respect the defensive side of the game.

In their sixth loss in eight games, the Sabres, like so many other recent outings, played a one-dimensional contest, simply focusing on their offense. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, exploited seemingly every miscue, scoring five goals off turnovers.

The ugly, disjointed ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has strong chemistry with his linemates. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt brimming with confidence

BUFFALO – One of the best stretches of Casey Mittelstadt’s 57-game NHL career – two goals and four points over seven recent contests – hasn’t boosted the Sabres rookie’s confidence.

“I don’t think I’m more confident or anything,” Mittelstadt said prior to Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks inside KeyBank Center. “I don’t struggle in that department.”

Mittelstadt, 20, doesn’t lack confidence.

“I know what I’m capable of doing,” the slick center said.... Read the full article

Lawrence Pilut hasn't played since Jan. 18. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Lawrence Pilut to return against Blackhawks

BUFFALO – Rejoice, Sabres fans. Rookie defenseman Lawrence Pilut will return tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks after sitting out two straight games as a healthy scratch.

Sabres coach Phil Housley changed his blue line the last two contests, inserting Matt Hunwick and Nathan Beaulieu while Pilut, 23, watched.

While Housley said he liked what the veterans showcased, Pilut, a slick youngster fans have been clamoring to see, will play his first game since Jan. 18.... Read the full article