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, Micheline Veluvolu

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

Sam Reinhart returned to Saturday afternoon's game with some stitches. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart ‘dominant’ late in shootout win

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel have been Sabres teammates for 263 games over the last three-plus seasons.

In that time, Reinhart, 23, has compiled 67 goals and 151 points. On two occasions, the winger enjoyed a three-goal outing. In five other games, he recorded three points.

But Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks might’ve been Reinhart’s best performance ever, according to Eichel.

“I thought Reino played awesome,” Eichel said. ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has a team-best 17 points. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel scoring points, not worried about goals

BUFFALO – It’s hard to quibble with Jack Eichel’s torrid start. In the last eight games, the slick Sabres captain has compiled a hefty 12 points. Right now, he’s pivoting perhaps the NHL’s best line between scorching wingers Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville.

Through the first 15 contests, Eichel has scored a team-leading 17 points. At his current pace, he would have 93 points over a full season, the most since Daniel Briere had ... Read the full article

The team presented Jason Pominville a silve sabre before the game. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres honor Jason Pominville for 1,000th game, annihilate Senators

BUFFALO – Celebrations like the one the Sabres threw for Jason Pominville’s 1,000-game milestone often mean a long, distinguished career is entering its final stage.

These days, with 30 being considered old by NHL standards, very few players possess longevity like Pominville’s. Even fewer keep producing offense like they’re still in their mid-20s.

But right now, Pominville, a winger who has compiled 285 goals and 710 points over his NHL seasons, looks like he’s still ... Read the full article

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark stops Mark Stone's breakaway Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Linus Ullmark quietly plays strong game

BUFFALO – Watching your teammates throttle an opponent and pile up goal can be a negative and positive experience, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark said.

“It’s both boring and really fun,” Ullmark said after making 27 saves in Saturday afternoon’s 9-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. “We had some really good goals today and guys battling up front, so that’s a lot of fun for me when I’m seeing that. …

“I’m happy as long as ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has been skating on the first line. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jason Pominville still thriving at 1,000-game mark

BUFFALO – Shortly before winger Jason Pominville started his milestone 1,000th NHL game Thursday, coach Phil Housley finished addressing the Sabres and briefly left the dressing room.

“Phil did his pregame speech and he’s like, ‘Wait, I forgot something,’” Pominville said Friday inside KeyBank Center.

When Housley returned, he brought Pominville’s wife, Kim, and two children, Jayden and Kaylee Rose, with him.

“When I saw them in the room, I almost had tears in my ... Read the full article