Carter Hutton tried to score a goal Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Carter Hutton’s puck-handling skills key asset for Sabres

BUFFALO – As soon as Carter Hutton grabbed the puck, the entire Sabres bench stood up. His teammates knew their goalie was eyeing the empty net about 175 feet away.

And for an oh-so-brief second, it appeared Hutton would shoot it down the ice and cap off Thursday’s victory in the craziest of fashions by scoring his first NHL goal.

“My first thought was he was 100 percent going to get it,” Sabres winger Evan ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) fights off Arizona's Brad Richardson on Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres pounce on Coyotes early, win second straight

BUFFALO – Less than a minute into Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, Sabres winger Conor Sheary intercepted an ill-advised pass defenseman Alex Goligoski telegraphed up the middle of the ice.

A few seconds later, center Casey Mittelstadt scored from the slot, putting the Sabres up at the 48-second mark. Barely six minutes after the rookie registered his first goal in nine games, winger Jeff Skinner easily converted captain Jack Eichel’s pass on a ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons made two huge plays Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons bounces back after getting scratched

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

Jeff Skinner (53) scores the overtime winner Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres roar back to down Kings in overtime, end losing skid

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

Jason Pominville has been struggling offensively. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres suddenly lack secondary scoring

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

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) takes a check from Toronto's Travis Dermott. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres battled back, fall to Maple Leafs in overtime thriller

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

Remi Elie has been the 13th forward much of the season, ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary out against Sharks; Remie Elie impressing

BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline winger Conor Sheary tonight against the San Jose Sharks, meaning Remi Elie will play again as the Sabres gun for their 10th consecutive victory.

Of course, Sabres coach Phil Housley might’ve kept Elie, his 13th forward much of the season, in the lineup if Sheary could play.

In his first appearance following 10 consecutive healthy scratches, Elie, 23, stood out in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win in Detroit.... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has scored three goals in the last four games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Finding ways to win late helped boost Sabres to NHL’s top spot

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

Evan Rodrigues falls in front of Philadelphia goalie Calvin Pickard on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres extend winning streak, get huge assist from crowd

BUFFALO – The Sabres sensed it right away, before the game even started. After about 8,000 fans watched them warm up, they knew it could be a special night inside KeyBank Center.

“It was talked about coming off the warm-up,” center Johan Larsson said following Wednesday’s exciting 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres’ seventh consecutive win. “We had a little feeling it was going to be buzzing.”

The rink buzzed like it hasn’t ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu sat out two straight games before Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Nathan Beaulieu looking to build on recent success

BUFFALO – Despite sitting out two straight games as a healthy scratch, Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu returned for Wednesday’s 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers possessing plenty of confidence.

Beaulieu, 25, began generating offense before leaving the lineup, scoring his second goal this season before his first two-assist effort with the Sabres. The former first-round pick was also playing beside rookie Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick.

But after winning four straight games with Beaulieu, ... Read the full article