BUFFALO – On Feb. 27, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander played his 13th straight game without scoring a goal. At that point, nearly five months into his third AHL campaign, the chances of the slick winger earning a recall looked slim.
Nylander, 21, enjoyed a strong training camp this season, nearly forcing the Sabres to keep him. The Swede parlayed that into a terrific start with the Rochester Americans, scoring six goals and 17 points ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel and coach Phil Housley don’t like the two-game suspension the NHL slapped on the team’s leading scorer for an illegal check to Carl Soderberg’s head in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 loss in Colorado.
“We have to stand by it, but I don’t agree with it,” an irked Eichel said this afternoon following practice inside KeyBank Center. “Obviously, if you look at the hit and you look at their rule book, ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Now back to reality. A night after a thrilling come-from-behind victory generated some optimism, the Buffalo Sabres reverted to their all-too-familiar form Saturday, falling 5-2 to the Maple Leafs.
The loss, the Sabres’ seventh in nine outings, should extinguish their faint playoff hopes. Right now, the 11th-place team trails the Columbus Blue Jackets by seven points for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.
Forget that the Sabres rattled off a 10-game winning streak ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Tage Thompson said he views his development as a marathon, not a sprint. Having played only 97 NHL games, the Buffalo Sabres winger understands he’s raw.
“Everyone’s got their own path,” Thompson said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. You never want to rush into things.”
So Thompson, 21, has embraced the Sabres’ plan for him. While they’ve kept him in ... Read the full article
TORONTO – Thanks to the Sabres’ late-game comeback and winger Conor Sheary’s exploits in Friday’s thrilling 4-3 overtime victory, goalie Linus Ullmark’s 41-save effort almost got overshadowed.
Ullmark, 25, was terrific all night, especially early as the Pittsburgh Penguins pumped 33 shots on him in the opening 40 minutes.
Fresh off that outing, it seemed like Ullmark might earn a well-deserved night off against the Maple Leafs.
But Sabres coach Phil Housley will start Ullmark ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For months, Conor Sheary’s performances had mostly been underwhelming.
As the Sabres have played some of their most important games in years, Sheary, 26, has usually been silent, sometimes going weeks without scoring a goal.
No one on the Sabres has played more meaningful NHL games than Sheary. Just four seasons into his NHL career, the diminutive winger has won two Stanley Cups and played 55 playoff contests.
Sooner or later, it felt ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the Sabres waived winger Scott Wilson and assigned him to the AHL in early January, it wasn’t a normal demotion to the minors.
Having won two Stanley Cups over nearly three years in the NHL, Wilson was already an established talent.
A season ago, Wilson earned regular duty with the Sabres, playing 49 games following his arrival from the Detroit Red Wings.
But Wilson, who faced his old team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, ... Read the full article
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
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
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