Goalie Carter Hutton could see plenty of action during the Sabres' home stand. ©2019, Hickling Images

Long home stand could make or break Sabres’ season

BUFFALO – For a struggling team that must rattle off wins if it hopes to snag a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, this is a gift. Starting tonight, the Sabres play their next seven games at home.

How rare is a seven-game home stand? It’s the longest in franchise history, tying a stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997.

The Sabres’ season hinges on this 15-day stretch. Realistically, they need to ... Read the full article

Tampa Bay goalie Louis Domingue makes a save last season with the Sabres' Sam Reinhart close by. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres lose to Lightning, fall out of playoff spot

BUFFALO – Twenty games ago, the upstart Sabres grabbed the top spot in the NHL after winning their 10th straight contest.

At that point, 25 games into the season, the Sabres appeared ahead of schedule. While many observers believed they could possibly contend for a playoff spot, few thought they would be the league’s best team more than a quarter into the campaign.

Fast forward to today, and the Sabres have fallen hard. Yes, they’re ... 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

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

Drew Stafford has received limited action this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Former Sabres Drew Stafford, Mike Grier meet up again with Devils

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

Jason Pominville smiles during Sunday's Sabres Skills Challenge. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jason Pominville remaining confident as ice time dips

BUFFALO – Barely two months ago, Jason Pominville was enjoying a renaissance. As his 1,000th NHL game and 36th birthday approached, the affable Sabres winger kept piling up goals and points.

On Nov. 17, Pominville scored his ninth goal and 17th point in the Sabres’ 20th game. But since then, he has mustered just one assist.

Pominville, the Sabres’ biggest early-season surprise, has a 17-game goal drought entering tonight’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson experienced a big growth spurt in 2015. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson learning to utilize big body

BUFFALO – Not long before Sabres winger Tage Thompson began his freshman year at UConn, he was 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds.

Then Thompson experienced a growth spurt over the summer of 2015. By the time he got to campus, he was a lanky 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds.

“So three inches and 20 pounds over the course of a summer,” Thompson said Friday inside KeyBank Center. “Then that following year, (I) grew another inch, put on ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has 11 points this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel’s injury gives Evan Rodrigues chance on Sabres’ top line

BUFFALO – Thanks to center Jack Eichel’s upper-body injury, Sabres coach Phil Housley leaned on Evan Rodrigues heavily throughout Monday’s 3-1 loss, skating him a career-high 22 minutes, seven seconds.

Rodrigues, 25, had never even cracked the 20-minute mark in his previous 113 NHL outings.

Expect Rodrigues to see plenty of action again Thursday against the Florida Panthers.

Eichel, who skated only four shifts before leaving Monday’s tilt against the New York Islanders, did ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson broke his ankle late in training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson nearing return from broken ankle

BUFFALO – Scott Wilson couldn’t even walk yet. Still, after breaking his right ankle, the Sabres winger wanted to enjoy some hockey-related activities.

So instead of staying idle, at about the four-week mark of his recovery, Wilson, 26, started going on the ice and shooting pucks … from a chair.

“As basic as you could think of it, that’s pretty much what it was,” Wilson said prior to Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons (28) battles Calgary's Mark Giordano last season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons week-to-week; Lawrence Pilut to be scratched

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons, a steady presence on the fourth line this season, is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury, coach Phil Housley said.

Girgensons, 24, has formed a strong duo beside center Johan Larsson, giving the Sabres some valuable minutes.

“Zemgus has done a terrific job,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I think with Larsson and him together, they have a unique chemistry, and whoever we put down there ... Read the full article