Robin Lehner enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss forming dynamic tandem

BUFFALO – Before Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss morphed into the NHL’s best goaltending tandem, they struggled mightily a year ago, enduring rough seasons.

In 2017-18, Lehner, 27, battled personal problems while tending goal for the hapless Sabres, the league’s worst team. Meanwhile, Greiss, 33, played behind the New York Islanders’ porous defense, which allowed a league-high 293 goals.

But these days, the goalies are thriving, enjoying career-best campaigns for the upstart Islanders, who showcase ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt left the ice early this morning. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt game-time decision for Islanders

BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt suffered a “little bang” and is game-time decision for tonight’s tilt against the New York Islanders, coach Phil Housley said.

If Mittelstadt can’t play, another rookie, winger C.J. Smith, will move in. Mittelstadt left the ice a little early this morning.

Update: A lower-body injury will force Mittelstadt to miss tonight’s game.

Having compiled two goals and seven points over the last 10 games, Mittelstadt, 20, is enjoying ... Read the full article

Matt Hunwick has played sparingly this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian injury gives Matt Hunwick opportunity

BUFFALO – Since recovering from a neck injury that sidelined him the first 33 games this season, Sabres defenseman Matt Hunwick’s action has been extremely limited.

After playing two straight contests before Christmas, Hunwick, 33, watched 13 consecutive games as a healthy scratch.

Following a strong outing Jan. 29, Hunwick sat out another five games until Sunday afternoon, when Zach Bogosian’s lower-body injury – coach Phil Housley said he is day-to-day – pressed him ... 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

Linus Ullmark has played 23 games this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson back against Red Wings; Linus Ullmark to start

BUFFALO – Some quick notes on this afternoon’s Sabres tilt against the Detroit Red Wings inside KeyBank Center:

– The Sabres will make one lineup change, inserting winger Tage Thompson, a healthy scratch for Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, for rookie C.J. Smith.

“I liked C.J.’s game, but it’s part of his development,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning. “I thought Tage had a really good, solid game against Detroit ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart knows the Sabres have to give their goalies more support. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres clarify comments following tough loss

BUFFALO – Calm down, everyone. Sam Reinhart said he simply misspoke following Thursday’s 6-5 overtime loss. The winger never meant to call out the performances of Sabres goalies Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark.

Reinhart issued a mea culpa Friday, saying when he learned how his comments were being construed on Twitter, he became rattled thinking his words came off the wrong way.

“That’s not what I meant at all,” Reinhart said after the Sabres prepared ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark makes a stop Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Goalie Linus Ullmark helps Sabres secure shootout win over Wild

BUFFALO – Amid all the chaos that materialized around him, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark calmly moved around his crease, making save after save in Tuesday’s thrilling 5-4 shootout victory.

Right now, having allowed 39 goals over the last nine contests, the Sabres are a mess defensively. So Ullmark can be forgiven for allowing four goals.

Ullmark still stopped 41 shots and all three shootout attempts against the Minnesota Wild, securing just the Sabres’ third win ... 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 played four NHL games earlier this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres reward C.J. Smith with promotion from Amerks

BUFFALO – Following a recent four-game look with the Sabres, winger C.J. Smith returned to the AHL and promptly went on a tear, scoring a hat trick in his first outing.

Smith, 24, performed splendidly, recording five goals and 12 points in eight games after the Sabres sent him to the Rochester Americans.

“He got the right message,” coach Phil Housley said Monday after the Sabres recalled Smith again.

Smith, who has compiled 18 goals ... 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