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

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

Jeff Skinner stars again in Sabres’ eighth straight win

BUFFALO – Coach Phil Housley likened the mentality slick winger Jeff Skinner utilized to secure the Sabres’ eighth straight victory to “a dog on a bone.”

Skinner scored his second goal in Friday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime triumph by digging the puck out of the crease and burying it through traffic as he fell to the ice at 3:06.

“I didn’t see it go in,” said Skinner, who also tied the game against the Montreal Canadiens ... 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

Conor Sheary has been a welcome addition to the Sabres. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Conor Sheary returns for first game against Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Almost five years ago, Conor Sheary’s pro prospects were dim.

After scoring nine goals and 28 points in 34 games as a senior in 2013-14, only one team showed interest in the diminutive University of Massachusetts product.

“I didn’t have any offers, really,” the speedy Buffalo Sabres winger said prior to Monday’s 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win against the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena. “Pittsburgh was the only offer I had.”

Well, technically, it ... Read the full article

Tonight will be Rasmus Dahlin's 21st NHL game. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Penguins ripe to be beaten by Sabres

PITTSBURGH – If not tonight, then when?

Right now, having won five straight games, the scorching Buffalo Sabres are enjoying their best streak in about nine years. Meanwhile, having lost eight consecutive contests and eight of the last nine (1-7-1), the Penguins are reeling.

So perhaps the Sabres can end their eight-game losing streak to the Penguins tonight at PPG Paints Arena.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored Saturday's winner. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Scorching Sabres rank among NHL’s early-season elite

PITTSBURGH – You have to go back nine years to find the last time the Buffalo Sabres ranked among the NHL’s heavyweights like they do right now.

The upstart Sabres haven’t roared out of the gate this fast since the 2009-10 season, when they also earned 26 points in their first 20 outings, their second-best 20-game start of the overtime era.

Entering tonight’s tilt against the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, the Sabres are enjoying ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (53) has already scored 13 goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jeff Skinner could enjoy one of Sabres’ greatest seasons ever

BUFFALO – Jeff Skinner tries to deflect credit for his recent scoring barrage. After all, the slick Sabres winger likes to point out, he has a terrific center in Jack Eichel and goals result from the players operating as a five-man unit.

“The line’s played well, the team’s played well,” Skinner said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “You’re not going to be able to score unless all five guys are contributing. I think we’ve had that ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 29 saves Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Carter Hutton shines in Sabres’ win over Lightning

BUFFALO – Over their three-game winning streak, winger Kyle Okposo believes the Sabres have played just a period and a half of “real good” hockey.

“We’ve got some stuff to clean up,” Okposo said after scoring in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. “Obviously, we’re getting two points and good teams find a way to win.”

Yes, believe it or not, the Sabres are finally a good team again. They improved ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart moved to the top line Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ line changes create balance

BUFFALO – By now, after 99 games as Sabres coach, Phil Housley knows his group well enough he’s confident making line changes.

Three weeks ago, when Housley put wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville beside top center Jack Eichel, the Sabres went on a tear. The line quickly morphed into one of the NHL’s best.

“It’s definitely an experience with the group and how they play and … realizing when they are going, to ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton watches Vancouver's Elias Pettersson try to reach the puck Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Resilient Sabres rally again late, beat Canucks in shootout

BUFFALO – Who would’ve thought the Sabres, the NHL’s laughingstock a year ago, would suddenly become such a resilient bunch?

Just 17 games into the season, coach Phil Housley has already developed trust among his players, helping the upstart Sabres build an identity and mature.

Take, for example, Saturday afternoon’s wild 4-3, come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks, a game in which the Sabres rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 2:27 of ... Read the full article