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

Marcus Foligno is in his second season with the Wild. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Foligno enjoying tenure with Wild

BUFFALO – This trip was more relaxing. A year ago, Marcus Foligno said he experienced “a lot of nerves” visiting here as an opponent.

“Now it’s just another road game,” said the Buffalo-born Foligno, who’s in his second season with the Minnesota Wild after spending six years with the Sabres.

He added: “It’s always special to come back to Buffalo. You get a little bit excited.”

Foligno, 27, has settled in nicely with the Wild, ... 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 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

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

Casey Mittelstadt know he possesses talent. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Casey Mittelstadt full of confidence

BUFFALO – One of the best stretches of Casey Mittelstadt’s 56-game NHL career – two goals and four points over seven contests – hasn’t boosted the Sabres rookie’s confidence.

“I don’t think I’m more confident or anything,” Mittelstadt said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I don’t struggle in that department.”

If you can’t tell, Mittelstadt, 20, doesn’t lack confidence.

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

Jack Eichel has missed three games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel close to playing

BUFFALO – Sabres center Jack Eichel practiced this morning in his regular spot beside winger Jeff Skinner, a sign the NHL All-Star is ready to return from his upper-body injury.

“He did quite well, a pretty high-tempo, bump-and-grind practice,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “It’s good to see him out there.”

So, will the captain return for Friday’s road tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes following a three-game absence?... Read the full article

Drew Stafford often skates on the fourth line. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Drew Stafford reunited with Mike Grier; Scott Wilson waived

BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.

It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.

“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville smiles during Sunday's Sabres Skills Challenge. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jason Pominville remaining confident as ice time dips

BUFFALO – Barely two months ago, Jason Pominville was enjoying a renaissance. As his 1,000th NHL game and 36th birthday approached, the affable Sabres winger kept piling up goals and points.

On Nov. 17, Pominville scored his ninth goal and 17th point in the Sabres’ 20th game. But since then, he has mustered just one assist.

Pominville, the Sabres’ biggest early-season surprise, has a 17-game goal drought entering tonight’s tilt against the New Jersey Devils ... Read the full article