Ryan O'Reilly spent three seasons in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabre Ryan O’Reilly producing for Blues amid losing season

Not much has changed for ex-Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly in St. Louis. The Blues utilize him constantly, relying on him to play big minutes. Just like in Buffalo, the versatile center quickly seized his opportunities, morphing into perhaps his new team’s best player.

And just like in Buffalo, O’Reilly has endured a lot of losing.

The Blues, one of the NHL’s heavyweights for years, just missed the playoffs last season, earning 94 points. When they ... Read the full article

Brendan Guhle made his NHL season debut Sunday afternoon. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Brendan Guhle returns to NHL confident

BUFFALO – During the second intermission Saturday in Cleveland, defenseman Brendan Guhle was informed the Sabres needed his services the next day more than 600 miles away in Boston.

So instead of finishing the Rochester Americans’ 2-1 victory against the Monsters, Guhle, who scored earlier in the game, spent all of the third period and overtime watching from the bench.

“It was pretty weird,” Guhle said prior to Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe has missed eight games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jake McCabe close to returning; Phil Housley mixes up centers

BUFFALO – After skating with his teammates for the first time this morning since suffering an upper-body injury Nov. 29, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe figures he can return by the weekend.

McCabe, who will miss his ninth game tonight, has skated eight of the last nine days, only taking Monday off.

While McCabe only has one team session under his belt – a light morning skate as the Sabres prepared for the Florida Panthers – ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has been struggling offensively. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres suddenly lack secondary scoring

BUFFALO – After starting slowly this season, Sabres winger Kyle Okposo found a groove around late October, scoring five goals and 12 points over an 18-game stretch.

Not surprisingly, Okposo’s production coincided with the Sabres’ surge to the top of the NHL. The veteran usually skates on the second or third line, so his offense provided some critical secondary scoring.

Then like most of the Sabres, Okposo, 30, suddenly stopped scoring. Since their 10-game winning ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has missed one game. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton practices, should play this week

BUFFALO – After an upper-body injury forced him to miss Saturday afternoon’s 6-2 home loss to Philadelphia, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton was back practicing this morning inside HarborCenter.

Coach Phil Housley said he “definitely” expects his No. 1 netminder to return this week. The Sabres host Los Angeles on Tuesday and Arizona on Thursday before playing road games Saturday and Sunday.

“It was good to see him back battling,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “He ... Read the full article

Remi Elie has been the 13th forward much of the season, ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary out against Sharks; Remie Elie impressing

BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline winger Conor Sheary tonight against the San Jose Sharks, meaning Remi Elie will play again as the Sabres gun for their 10th consecutive victory.

Of course, Sabres coach Phil Housley might’ve kept Elie, his 13th forward much of the season, in the lineup if Sheary could play.

In his first appearance following 10 consecutive healthy scratches, Elie, 23, stood out in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win in Detroit.... Read the full article

The Sabres scratched Patrik Berglund on Tuesday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Patrik Berglund to return against Jets

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ depth this season offers them flexibility and options they did not enjoy in recent years.

So fresh off Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, Sabres coach Phil Housley plans to change his lineup for Friday’s road tilt against the Winnipeg Jets.

Patrik Berglund, a healthy scratch Tuesday, will replace Evan Rodrigues at center beside Jason Pominville and Vladimir Sobotka.

“I don’t think as a coaching ... Read the full article

Vladimir Sobotka has scored three goals in 14 games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Vladimir Sobotka quietly key contributor to Sabres’ strong start

BUFFALO – Vladimir Sobotka’s arrival here was mostly overlooked. Of course, that isn’t surprising given the Sabres acquired the Czech forward in a blockbuster trade just hours after free agency opened.

The Sabres signed a few new players, including starting goalie Carter Hutton, early on July 1. Then they dished former NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues for three players and a first-round pick that night.

Winger Tage Thompson, perhaps ... 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

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