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

Casey Nelson hasn't played an NHL game since Dec. 4. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Casey Nelson quietly waiting for opportunity to play

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

The defenseman hasn’t played an NHL game since then.

Nelson, who dressed for 22 of the Sabres’ first 29 contests, is healthy again. The Sabres just haven’t used him. He began practicing again in late January and completed a five-game AHL conditioning assignment with the Rochester Americans on Feb. 17.

For the ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson made his NHL season debut last Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson earning regular duty after stay with Amerks

BUFFALO – When the Sabres waived winger Scott Wilson and assigned him to the AHL in early January, it wasn’t a normal demotion to the minors.

Having won two Stanley Cups over nearly three years in the NHL, Wilson was already an established talent.

A season ago, Wilson earned regular duty with the Sabres, playing 49 games following his arrival from the Detroit Red Wings.

But Wilson, who faced his old team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, ... Read the full article

Sidney Crosby's Penguins rank ninth in the Eastern Conference. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres have lost confidence since last meeting with Penguins

BUFFALO – On Nov. 19, the Sabres enjoyed one of their most impressive victories in years, roaring back to beat the Penguins 5-4 in overtime.

Back then, the Sabres possessed a strong belief they would conquer any deficit and triumph. On that night in Pittsburgh, they trailed 4-1 in the second period, yet still found a way to win their sixth straight game.

“Just the vibe of the team at that point,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has played 39 games this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton leaves practice, status uncertain for Friday

BUFFALO – About halfway through this morning’s practice, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton left the ice and returned to KeyBank Center.

So Ryan Vinz, the team’s emergency goalie and a Harborcenter employee, quickly changed into his gear and finished the session.

Hutton “tweaked something in his lower body,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. He could be unavailable for Friday’s home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“We’ll evaluate that later today and tomorrow morning,” Housley said. “Just ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has missed four games. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo ready to play after suffering concussion

TORONTO – The smile on Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo’s face said everything.

After missing four games due to a concussion – “More precautionary than anything,” he said – Okposo will play again tonight against the Maple Leafs.

“Definitely more neck than anything,” an excited Okposo said this afternoon inside Scotiabank Arena. “Got that work done and I feel good.”... Read the full article