Jake McCabe and the New York Rangers' Cristoval Nieves fall to the ice Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres searching for answers after rough loss to Rangers

BUFFALO – This is all new for the Sabres – the high expectations, the strong sense of urgency they must showcase throughout their most meaningful tilts in seven years.

On Friday, the Sabres could’ve won their third game in four tries, closed out two weeks at home on a high note and inched two points closer to the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot.

Instead, they imploded again, falling behind two goals early and ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark had more help Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Defensive-minded Sabres respond after rough loss, beat Red Wings

BUFFALO – See, the Sabres can still showcase a strong defense. It’s just that sometimes, most notably throughout the disturbing 10-game stretch that preceded their tight 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, they rarely showed much interest in it.

“Mentality, we wanted to defend,” Sabres center Evan Rodrigues said of what changed Saturday afternoon, two days after an ugly 6-5 overtime loss. “We didn’t want to the other day. Today, we made a conscious ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured a long slump. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Conor Sheary scores, keeps building confidence

BUFFALO – Barely a minute into Saturday afternoon’s second period, Sabres winger Conor Sheary intercepted Justin Abdelkader’s weak backhand pass outside the opposing blue line and zoomed into the slot before beating goalie Jimmy Howard.

The slick goal, just Sheary’s third in the last 34 outings, served as another reminder the diminutive UMass product ranks among the Sabres’ most talented forwards.

“Once I got the turnover, I think I just tried to attack quick,” Sheary ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart knows the Sabres have to give their goalies more support. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres clarify comments following tough loss

BUFFALO – Calm down, everyone. Sam Reinhart said he simply misspoke following Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss. The winger never meant to call out the performances of Sabres goalies Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark.

Reinhart issued a mea culpa Friday, saying when he learned how his comments were being construed on Twitter, he became rattled thinking his words came off the wrong way.

“That’s not what I meant at all,” Reinhart said after the Sabres prepared ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart said he has lots of respect for the Sabres' goalies. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart issues mea culpa for comments following loss

BUFFALO – Calm down, everyone. Sam Reinhart said he simply misspoke following Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss. The winger never meant to call out the Sabres’ goalies.

Reinhart issued a mea culpa this afternoon, saying when a team official informed him late Thursday of how his comments were being taken on Twitter, he was rattled thinking what he said came off the wrong way.

“That’s not what I meant at all,” Reinhart said inside KeyBank Center.... 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

Evan Rodrigues has scored five goals in the last seven games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues piling up goals after slow start

BUFFALO – It can be argued the best play in Tuesday’s victory wasn’t a goal, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart’s shootout winner or one of goalie Linus Ullmark’s windmill saves.

How about center Evan Rodrigues’ arduous effort to stay onside in the second period?

As the Sabres rushed into the Minnesota Wild zone, Rodrigues slammed on the brakes and lost his stick. Rodrigues basically looked like a wishbone about to break trying to keep his skate ... 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 played four NHL games earlier this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres reward C.J. Smith with promotion from Amerks

BUFFALO – Following a recent four-game look with the Sabres, winger C.J. Smith returned to the AHL and promptly went on a tear, scoring a hat trick in his first outing.

Smith, 24, performed splendidly, recording five goals and 12 points in eight games after the Sabres sent him to the Rochester Americans.

“He got the right message,” coach Phil Housley said Monday after the Sabres recalled Smith again.

Smith, who has compiled 18 goals ... 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