Jack Eichel has a stronger supporting cast this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ depth has buoyed strong start

BUFFALO – Depth means coach Phil Housley can utilize his so-called fourth line for critical defensive zone faceoffs. It means the Sabres can replace former center Ryan O’Reilly’s minutes by committee. It means it can often be hard to distinguish between the first and fourth trios.

Right now, for the first time in years, the 2-1 Sabres possess depth up front and the ability to roll four lines.

“We’ve been rolling them pretty good,” center ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 43 saves Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Conor Sheary, Carter Hutton push Sabres past Rangers

BUFFALO – It was hard to tell which moment in Saturday’s 3-1 win against the New York Rangers generated the bigger roar from Sabres fans.

Winger Conor Sheary’s power-play goal 13:15 into the tilt, a perfect shot from the left circle into the far corner, ignited the crowd of 16,824 fans inside KeyBank Center.

So did goalie Carter Hutton’s splendid save on Rangers center Brett Howden, which stymied a three-on-zero shortly after Sheary’s second power-play ... Read the full article

Phil Housley was miffed after Thursday's loss. ©2018, Hickling Images

Phil Housley to Sabres after loss: ‘The sun came up’

BUFFALO – Coach Phil Housley’s firm voice cut through the din of Friday’s practice every few minutes.

“He was definitely vocal,” winger Kyle Okposo said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s home tilt against the New York Rangers. “I think we got the message.”

Actually, Housley relayed multiple messages Friday morning, hours after an embarrassing 4-0 loss left him seething. He delivered his first before practice.... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Tage Thompson on July 1. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson seizes early opportunity

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Tage Thompson knows everything he just earned – one of 23 coveted roster spots and a place on a scoring line – can vanish in a hurry.

As a rookie a year ago, Thompson cracked St. Louis’ opening-night lineup just months after leaving college. The former first-round pick lasted four games before the Blues demoted him to the San Antonio Rampage.

“You never want to feel comfortable,” Thompson said prior to ... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes how his team welcomed its new players. ©2018, Hickling Images

New-look Sabres excited to open season: ‘A lot of enthusiasm’

BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.

Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.

They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.

“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary was injured the first day of training camp. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres lose Scott Wilson as Conor Sheary returns

BUFFALO – Just as one Sabres winger, Conor Sheary, returned from an injury Sunday, they lost another one.

Toward of the end of practice, Scott Wilson got tangled with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and appeared to injure his right leg. Wilson stayed on the HarborCenter ice for a couple of minutes before being helped off. He couldn’t put any pressure on his right foot.... Read the full article

Scott Wilson is expected to occupy a spot on the fourth line. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary practices; Scott Wilson leaves with injury

BUFFALO – Just as one Sabres winger, Conor Sheary, returned from an injury today, they lost another one.

Toward of the end of practice inside HarborCenter, Scott Wilson got tangled with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and appeared to injure his right leg. Wilson stayed on the ice for a couple of minutes before being helped off. He couldn’t put any pressure on his right foot.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolaine (55) battles Arizona's Jordan Martinook on March 22. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen and other Sabres day-to-day

BUFFALO – Seven Sabres, including center Jack Eichel and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, sat out today’s practice with “minor ailments” and will miss Friday’s preseason finale, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said the players are all day-to-day. Center Johan Larsson, winger Conor Sheary and defensemen Zach Bogosian, Brandon Hickey and Marco Scandella also missed the session inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Scott Wilson (20) shadows Winnipeg's Tyler Myers on Jan. 10. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Scott Wilson adds weight, embraces checking role

BUFFALO – The list is, well, rather short. During the Sabres’ disastrous 2017-18 season, just one forward, winger Scott Wilson, exceeded expectations.

No wonder the Sabres finished dead last.

Wilson, 26, quickly morphed into a reliable fourth-liner after the Sabres acquired him from the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 4.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has battled injuries in recent seasons. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian day-to-day with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Oft-injured Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who played only 18 games last season, is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday, coach Phil Housley said.

Housley said Bogosian, 28, will be reevaluated later today after leaving the Sabres’ 4-2 preseason loss to Columbus early.

Injuries, of course, have ravaged Bogosian. The Massena native has missed 114 games – a whopping 42 percent of Buffalo’s outings – since he joined the Sabres on Feb. ... Read the full article