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

Tage Thompson has scored three goals in the last four games. ©2018, Hickling Images

Taking ‘step back’ helps Sabres’ Tage Thompson find game

BUFFALO – Earlier this season, as Sabres winger Tage Thompson struggled offensively, the thought of producing points consumed him.

“The first couple weeks, all I’m thinking about is I’m struggling to put up points,” said Thompson, who has scored three goals in the last four games entering tonight’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks.

Not surprisingly, Thompson’s entire game suffered. His confidence dipped. Following seven pointless outings, coach Phil Housley yanked him from the lineup.... 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

Tage Thompson has scored three goals in the last four games. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Finding ways to win late helped boost Sabres to NHL’s top spot

BUFFALO – The remarkable part of the Sabres’ nine game-winning streak has been their ability to find different ways to rally late and triumph in tight contests.

Eight one-goal victories during their torrid run helped vault the Sabres into first place in the 31-team NHL. Only once, in Wednesday’s 5-2 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers, a game in which they opened up a 4-0 first-period lead, have they throttled an opponent.

Incredibly, they’ve roared ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues falls in front of Philadelphia goalie Calvin Pickard on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres extend winning streak, get huge assist from crowd

BUFFALO – The Sabres sensed it right away, before the game even started. After about 8,000 fans watched them warm up, they knew it could be a special night inside KeyBank Center.

“It was talked about coming off the warm-up,” center Johan Larsson said following Wednesday’s exciting 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres’ seventh consecutive win. “We had a little feeling it was going to be buzzing.”

The rink buzzed like it hasn’t ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored 45 seconds into overtime Monday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres roar back again, beat Penguins in overtime

PITTSBURGH – By now, six games into the unlikeliest of winning streaks, the scorching Buffalo Sabres expect to conquer any deficit. Three goals? No problem. A rink they haven’t triumphed in since 2013? Big deal.

“There’s a bit of confidence now because we’ve done it a few times,” Sabres captain Jack Eichel said after his goal 45 seconds into overtime clinched a 5-4 victory over the reeling Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena.

Right now, the ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has one assist this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson happy with Sabres’ plan

BUFFALO – Having grown up with a father who played pro hockey, Sabres winger Tage Thompson has a unique understanding of the dues-paying process that accompanies developing into an NHL player.

Before Thompson’s father, Brent, began his coaching career, he played 121 NHL games as a defenseman in the 1990s, mostly with the Los Angeles Kings.

Brent, like his son, shuttled between the big leagues and the minors as a youngster and probably sat out ... Read the full article

Patrik Berglund has scored two goals this season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Patrik Berglund to be healthy scratch against Lightning

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Patrik Berglund is a three-time 20-goal scorer with a hefty $4.7 million salary.

But 16 games into his Sabres career, Berglund, 30, has been a disappointment. So far, the Swede he has compiled as many healthy scratches (two) as goals.

Sabres coach Phil Housley said Berglund will be scratched for tonight’s tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside KeyBank Center. He also sat out Oct. 18 in San Jose.

“We got ... 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