Jason Pominville also sat out Sunday afternoon. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jason Pominville to sit out again versus Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.

Ten contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.

So Pominville, 36, will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sabres coach Phil Housley inserted Vladimir ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly spent three seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Ryan O’Reilly returns to Buffalo thriving with Blues

BUFFALO – St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly hasn’t experienced a season like this in five years, since he played for the Colorado Avalanche.

For the first time since 2013-14, O’Reilly, 28, has a legitimate chance to reach the playoffs.

Simply contending for a spot has helped rejuvenate O’Reilly, who was beaten down by the losing he endured in Buffalo so much he acknowledged following last season it sapped some of his love for hockey.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville also sat out Jan. 30. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jason Pominville to be healthy scratch against Blues

BUFFALO – The Sabres cleared one huge hurdle in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes by, uh, scoring a goal for the first time in more than three games.

“It certainly was a relief,” coach Phil Housley said of the Sabres ending their drought at 199:58. “I really like the way we started, and just taking a look at the game after the fact, I really liked the way we played. We had a ... Read the full article

Losing sapped Ryan O'Reilly's love for hockey last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Trading Ryan O’Reilly looks like brutal deal for Sabres

BUFFALO – The trade could go down as one of the worst in Sabres history.

For NHL All-Star Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres received two overpaid veteran forwards, a prospect who has been in and out of the lineup and first- and second-round picks from the St. Louis Blues, this afternoon’s opponent at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres’ struggles this season can be sliced and diced a thousand ways. But getting rid of O’Reilly on July ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will return from his suspension against Carolina. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Ending goal drought would be moral victory for reeling Sabres

BUFFALO – Having completed his two-game suspension, leading scorer Jack Eichel will return for tonight’s road contest against the Carolina Hurricanes. So maybe, just maybe, the hapless Sabres can end their embarrassing goal drought.

Forget about the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. At this point, simply scoring a goal – they’ve been shut out three straight games – would be a huge moral victory.

Incredibly, the Sabres haven’t scored in 197:40, a shocking stretch of futility ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has recorded a team-high 72 points this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Jack Eichel set to return from suspension with Sabres reeling

BUFFALO – After serving his two-game suspension, captain and leading scorer Jack Eichel will return for Saturday’s road game against the Carolina Hurricanes. So maybe, just maybe, the Sabres can end their dubious drought and score a goal.

Of course, Eichel’s last outing, Saturday afternoon’s miserable 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, was one of the Sabres’ worst offensive efforts in recent memory.

So forget about the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. At this point, ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hasn't scored since Feb. 15. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner battling first slump of season

BUFFALO – Forget about Jeff Skinner scoring 50 times. Thanks to a four-week slump, the Sabres winger might fall short of the 40-goal mark.

Skinner, 26, showcased dynamic consistency over his first 57 outings, never going more than four games without a goal.

After scoring twice on Feb. 15, Skinner was producing at a 52-goal pace over a full season.

But Skinner been stuck on 36 goals for 27 days. The NHL All-Star has a ... Read the full article

Phil Housley is in his second season as coach. ©2019, Hickling Images

Players say Phil Housley has changed Sabres for better

BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, Phil Housley was the NHL’s hottest assistant before the Sabres hired him as the 18th head coach in franchise history following the Nashville Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup final.

The move was almost universally lauded. Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman and one of the greatest Sabres ever, was returning to a team and city close to his heart.

Housley’s defense corps in Nashville showcased the fast, aggressive ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville doesn't think the Sabres' road struggles are in the players' heads. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres have been awful on road for three months

BUFFALO – Since their 10-game winning streak ended Nov. 29 in Tampa Bay, the Sabres have been downright awful on the road, compiling the NHL’s worst record, a wretched 3-14-3 mark.

Road games, of course, can be tougher. For example, the visitor has the last change. The environment can be unsettling.

Still, every other team has won at least six road contests over that stretch and earned at least 13 points.... Read the full article

Casey Nelson hadn't played since Dec. 4. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Casey Nelson returns after three-month absence

BUFFALO – Three months ago Monday, Casey Nelson suffered an upper-body injury in the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The defenseman spent about seven weeks recovering and rehabbing before waiting another six weeks for an opportunity to play NHL games.

Nelson, who dressed for 22 of the Sabres’ first 29 contests, began practicing again in late January and completed a five-game AHL conditioning assignment with the Rochester Americans on Feb. 17.... Read the full article