Jason Pominville remembers when the Sabres regularly beat Toronto. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Loss to Maple Leafs essentially dashes Sabres’ faint playoff hopes

TORONTO – Now back to reality. A night after a thrilling come-from-behind victory generated some optimism, the Buffalo Sabres reverted to their all-too-familiar form Saturday, falling 5-2 to the Maple Leafs.

The loss, the Sabres’ seventh in nine outings, should extinguish their faint playoff hopes. Right now, the 11th-place team trails the Columbus Blue Jackets by seven points for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Forget that the Sabres rattled off a 10-game winning streak ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson possesses a lethal shot. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson understands development takes time

TORONTO – Tage Thompson said he views his development as a marathon, not a sprint. Having played only 97 NHL games, the Buffalo Sabres winger understands he’s raw.

“Everyone’s got their own path,” Thompson said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. You never want to rush into things.”

So Thompson, 21, has embraced the Sabres’ plan for him. While they’ve kept him in ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark made 41 saves Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start against Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Thanks to the Sabres’ late-game comeback and winger Conor Sheary’s exploits in Friday’s thrilling 4-3 overtime victory, goalie Linus Ullmark’s 41-save effort almost got overshadowed.

Ullmark, 25, was terrific all night, especially early as the Pittsburgh Penguins pumped 33 shots on him in the opening 40 minutes.

Fresh off that outing, it seemed like Ullmark might earn a well-deserved night off against the Maple Leafs.

But Sabres coach Phil Housley will start Ullmark ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary (43) celebrates his goal with Jeff Skinner (53) and Jake McCabe (19). ©2019, Hickling Images

Conor Sheary busts out, helps Sabres down Penguins in overtime

BUFFALO – For months, Conor Sheary’s performances had mostly been underwhelming.

As the Sabres have played some of their most important games in years, Sheary, 26, has usually been silent, sometimes going weeks without scoring a goal.

No one on the Sabres has played more meaningful NHL games than Sheary. Just four seasons into his NHL career, the diminutive winger has won two Stanley Cups and played 55 playoff contests.

Sooner or later, it felt ... 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 got hung out to dry Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres hope adding established player in Brandon Montour buoys them

TORONTO – When Jason Botterill acquired high-scoring winger Jeff Skinner last summer, the general manager said he underestimated how much adding an established NHL talent to the Buffalo Sabres would excite his players.

“It wasn’t a situation talking about futures or a prospect,” Botterill told reporters Monday in Buffalo. “He was a player that helped our group right now.”

Botterill’s latest acquisition before Monday’s trade deadline, puck-moving defenseman Brandon Montour, could have the same effect ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson will play this afternoon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo skates; Danny O’Regan, Scott Wilson to play

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo, out since suffering a concussion last Friday, skated this morning, coach Phil Housley said.

“That’s a great sign,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “He’s got a smile on his face. So those are all good signs for us.”

Okposo, 30, has a concerning history of concussions. The veteran hasn’t played since suffering another one fighting New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

Housley believes Okposo will play again this season.... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo rarely fights. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo OK after fight, will go on road trip

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, who left Friday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers after fighting defenseman Tony DeAngelo, will accompany the Sabres on their three-game road trip, coach Phil Housley said.

Okposo, 30, did not practice this morning inside Harborcenter. Housley said Okposo, who has a concerning history of concussions, did not suffer another one.

“Kyle’s doing well,” Housley said inside KeyBank Center. “We just kept him off the ice as ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe and the New York Rangers' Cristoval Nieves fall to the ice Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres searching for answers after rough loss to Rangers

BUFFALO – This is all new for the Sabres – the high expectations, the strong sense of urgency they must showcase throughout their most meaningful tilts in seven years.

On Friday, the Sabres could’ve won their third game in four tries, closed out two weeks at home on a high note and inched two points closer to the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot.

Instead, they imploded again, falling behind two goals early and ... Read the full article