Evan Rodrigues has enjoyed a productive stretch. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Evan Rodrigues grew under Rangers’ David Quinn

BUFFALO – Sabres center Evan Rodrigues figured David Quinn would stay put at Boston University until the coach guided the Terriers to a national championship.

Quinn’s success at the NCAA level, of course, generated plenty of interest from the NHL. Still, Rodrigues, whose dynamic exploits nearly helped BU win a title in 2015, enjoys a close relationship with Quinn.

“You can always go into his office and talk about anything to him,” Rodrigues said prior ... 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

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

Linus Ullmark makes a stop Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Goalie Linus Ullmark helps Sabres secure shootout win over Wild

BUFFALO – Amid all the chaos that materialized around him, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark calmly moved around his crease, making save after save in Tuesday’s thrilling 5-4 shootout victory.

Right now, having allowed 39 goals over the last nine contests, the Sabres are a mess defensively. So Ullmark can be forgiven for allowing four goals.

Ullmark still stopped 41 shots and all three shootout attempts against the Minnesota Wild, securing just the Sabres’ third win ... 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

Carter Hutton got yanked after 40 minutes. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres play loose defensively in ugly loss to Blackhawks

BUFFALO – An agitated Phil Housley mentioned it four times during his three-and-a-half minute news conference following Friday’s ugly 7-3 loss to the last-place Chicago Blackhawks.

The Sabres don’t respect the defensive side of the game.

In their sixth loss in eight games, the Sabres, like so many other recent outings, played a one-dimensional contest, simply focusing on their offense. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, exploited seemingly every miscue, scoring five goals off turnovers.

The ugly, disjointed ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has strong chemistry with his linemates. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt brimming with confidence

BUFFALO – One of the best stretches of Casey Mittelstadt’s 57-game NHL career – two goals and four points over seven recent contests – hasn’t boosted the Sabres rookie’s confidence.

“I don’t think I’m more confident or anything,” Mittelstadt said prior to Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks inside KeyBank Center. “I don’t struggle in that department.”

Mittelstadt, 20, doesn’t lack confidence.

“I know what I’m capable of doing,” the slick center said.... Read the full article