BUFFALO – Five years into his NHL career and 21 games into his new gig as the Sabres’ starter, goalie Carter Hutton’s mentality hasn’t changed.
“He’s just trying to prove himself every day, whether (it was) earlier in his career, when he was a backup, (or) now he’s in the No. 1 position where he’s played a lot of hockey,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who knows Hutton from his days as a Nashville Predators ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – One play was a highlight-reel goal. Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons didn’t just steal the puck and outmuscle any ordinary defenseman to score a first-period goal Tuesday; he made former Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty look silly.
The other play, while not as memorable, was just as critical to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Kings. In the third period, Girgensons outraced Jeff Carter to negate an icing.
“It’s little details ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – We’d seen contests like Tuesday’s come-from-behind 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings from the Sabres before. They played, oh, about eight of them during their thrilling 10-game winning streak last month.
After a nondescript or subpar opening 40 minutes or so, the Sabres often roar back late and win in overtime or a shootout.
It’s a risky way to win games, for sure, but those type of triumphs briefly elevated them to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After starting slowly this season, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo found a groove around late October, scoring five goals and 12 points over an 18-game stretch.
Not surprisingly, Okposo’s production coincided with the Sabres’ surge to the top of the NHL. The veteran usually skates on the second or third line, so his offense provided some critical secondary scoring.
Then like most of the Sabres, Okposo, 30, suddenly stopped scoring. Since their 10-game winning ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When you rattle off win after win, especially in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, the euphoria of victory can often overshadow any problems that materialize.
The Sabres morphed into a powerhouse during their recent 10-game winning streak, earning nine one-goal victories and roaring back from late deficits again and again.
Those thrilling wins probably hid some of their deficiencies and allowed other problems to creep into their game.
“We just probably should’ve done a better ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the puck slid back to the point late in Tuesday’s second period, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart moved from the left circle into the slot and began jockeying for position with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey.
As defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Rasmus Ristolainen passed the puck to each other, Reinhart kept battling Hainsey, moving from one side to the other.
Finally, with Reinhart still in the slot and winger Jeff Skinner behind ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The loss didn’t crush the Sabres. Sure, their fourth straight defeat certainly stung. They battled back and grabbed a late lead before Auston Matthews’ overtime winner with just 2.7 seconds left secured the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-3 victory.
But after arriving in Buffalo at 1 a.m. following Monday’s 2-1 loss in Nashville, the Sabres earned a point and had one of the NHL’s heavyweights on the ropes.
That’s probably why coach Phil Housley, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Earlier this season, as Sabres winger Tage Thompson struggled offensively, the thought of producing points consumed him.
“The first couple weeks, all I’m thinking about is I’m struggling to put up points,” said Thompson, who had scored three goals in the last four games entering Tuesday’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks.
Not surprisingly, Thompson’s entire game suffered. His confidence dipped. Following seven pointless outings, coach Phil Housley yanked him from the lineup.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The remarkable part of the Sabres’ nine game-winning streak has been their ability to find different ways to rally late and triumph in tight contests.
Eight one-goal victories during their torrid run helped vault the Sabres into first place in the 31-team NHL. Only once, in Wednesday’s 5-2 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers, a game in which they opened up a 4-0 first-period lead, have they throttled an opponent.
Incredibly, they’ve roared ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Early in Monday’s come-from-behind victory in Pittsburgh, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo knew he was struggling.
As the Penguins built a 4-1 lead, Okposo was on the ice for the second and third goals.
“I wasn’t having a very good game,” Okposo acknowledged Tuesday after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers inside KeyBank Center.
A slew of factors have contributed to the Sabres’ thrilling six-game winning streak, a run that ... Read the full article