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
BUFFALO – By about halfway through the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss, which inched the Boston Bruins within two points of the third-place Sabres, it appeared officials would let just about anything go.
At one point, 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara wasn’t penalized for tackling 5-foot-8 Sabres winger Conor Sheary.
So when defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen went off for kneeing with the Sabres clinging to a 2-1 lead in the waning minutes, the capacity crowd ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Having earned 20 of a possible 22 points when leading after two periods entering Tuesday, the odds of the Sabres imploding against the last-place Florida Panthers seemed slim.
Ten weeks into the season, the Sabres had zero regulation losses – a terrific 9-0-2 mark – when up after 40 minutes.
So Tuesday’s 5-2 setback to the Panthers, a game the Sabres led 2-1 at the beginning of the third period, might be their ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – During the second intermission Saturday in Cleveland, defenseman Brendan Guhle was informed the Sabres needed his services the next day more than 600 miles away in Boston.
So instead of finishing the Rochester Americans’ 2-1 victory against the Monsters, Guhle, who scored earlier in the game, spent all of the third period and overtime watching from the bench.
“It was pretty weird,” Guhle said prior to Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After skating with his teammates for the first time this morning since suffering an upper-body injury Nov. 29, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe figures he can return by the weekend.
McCabe, who will miss his ninth game tonight, has skated eight of the last nine days, only taking Monday off.
While McCabe only has one team session under his belt – a light morning skate as the Sabres prepared for the Florida Panthers – ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Thirty-four games into his fourth NHL campaign, Sabres captain Jack Eichel is enjoying more than just a career year; the ultra-talented center is putting together one of the greatest seasons in franchise history.
Fresh off a four-goal, nine-point week, Eichel is up to 14 goals and 45 points entering tonight’s tilt against the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center. At his current pace, he would compile 34 goals and a whopping 109 points over ... Read the full article
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