Jack Eichel blamed the players, not Phil Houlsey. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres surprised by Phil Housley’s firing, believe players at fault

BUFFALO – Just days before Phil Housley’s dismissal, captain Jack Eichel was adamant the Sabres’ woes should be pinned on the players, not the coach.

Eichel’s words, which he repeated this morning, couldn’t save Housley, who was fired Sunday after the Sabres’ sorry finish.

“It’s on us in the room,” Eichel said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season-meetings inside KeyBank Center. “We’re the product on the ice. It’s unfortunate that ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored his 16th goal this season Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Fans, teammates celebrate Jason Pominville in rare Sabres win

BUFFALO – The crowd kept roaring. For more than a minute late in Thursday’s 5-2 win, the fans saluted one of their favorites, winger Jason Pominville, after he capped off an emotional day by scoring perhaps his last goal for the Sabres.

The noise wouldn’t stop after Pominville, 36, was announced as the scorer, so after receiving a signal from his teammates, one of the greatest players in franchise history skated to center ice ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on Thursday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ youngsters stand out in overtime loss to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Rookie Victor Olofsson heard Jack Eichel calling for the puck, so he quickly spun around along the right boards and adroitly fed the Sabres captain as a zoomed down the slot.

A second later, an uncovered Eichel beat Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, tying the game 15:42 into the third period Thursday.

“I was just trying to get it in there in the middle,” Olofsson said following his NHL debut, a 5-4 ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was a seventh-round pick in 2014. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Olofsson earns spot beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – By late October, as Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson closed a stellar month in which he scored five goals and 15 points, a recall to the NHL felt inevitable.

But instead of summoning Olofsson, 23, from the Rochester Americans right away, the Sabres left the slick Swedish winger in the AHL for almost six months.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Olofsson, meanwhile, kept scoring and acclimating to North American hockey, cementing his spot among the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Victor Olofsson thrilled to join Sabres: ‘I’m good enough to play up here’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin has never seen a shot as lethal as the one Sabres newcomer Victor Olofsson possesses.

“He’s probably got the best shot I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” the defenseman said of Olofsson, who will make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. “It’s unbelievable.”

Dahlin, of course, knows Olofsson well. The rookies spent last season together starring at home in Sweden for Frolunda HC. Their time as teammates ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has scored 15 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville odd man out again

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.

Nine contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.

So the Sabres scratched Pominville, 36, for the second straight game Wednesday.

“It’s just the situation we’re at,” Pominville said prior to the 4-2 loss ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton makes a shootout stop on St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly to secure Sunday afternoon's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres end losing streak, get building roaring again

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the crowd roaring and wanted in on the action.

For a 27-second stretch late in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 shootout win, the Sabres started thumping every opponent in sight.

The normally docile fans inside KeyBank Center grew louder and louder with each hit.

So Okposo wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to hit St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.... Read the full article

Carter Hutton got hung out to dry Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres hope adding established player in Brandon Montour buoys them

TORONTO – When Jason Botterill acquired high-scoring winger Jeff Skinner last summer, the general manager said he underestimated how much adding an established NHL talent to the Buffalo Sabres would excite his players.

“It wasn’t a situation talking about futures or a prospect,” Botterill told reporters Monday in Buffalo. “He was a player that helped our group right now.”

Botterill’s latest acquisition before Monday’s trade deadline, puck-moving defenseman Brandon Montour, could have the same effect ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner left Saturday afternoon's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jeff Skinner’s return helps boost Sabres in win over Capitals

BUFFALO – Right away, the fans noticed Jeff Skinner’s unlikely presence. So when the Sabres’ leading goal scorer touched the puck seconds into the third period, the crowd roared.

Earlier in Saturday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals, Skinner’s season and the Sabres’ slim playoff hopes looked finished.

Less than five minutes into the second period, Carl Hagelin put his stick around Skinner’s lower left leg, causing his ankle to bend awkwardly as he ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article