Jeff Skinner (53) has already scored 13 goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Jeff Skinner could enjoy one of Sabres’ greatest seasons ever

BUFFALO – Jeff Skinner tries to deflect credit for his recent scoring barrage. After all, the slick Sabres winger likes to point out, he has a terrific center in Jack Eichel and goals result from the players operating as a five-man unit.

“The line’s played well, the team’s played well,” Skinner said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “You’re not going to be able to score unless all five guys are contributing. I think we’ve had that ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville celebrates a goal last week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jason Pominville experienced unique road to 1,000 games

BUFFALO – Of all the places it could’ve been played, it turns out Jason Pominville will hit the prestigious 1,000-game mark tonight in Ottawa, the site of the winger’s signature moment, the dynamic short-handed overtime goal against the powerhouse Senators that pushed the underdog Sabres into the 2006 Eastern Conference final.

“(I) had some great, great moments there, probably my best moment as a player there,” Pominville said earlier this week inside KeyBank Center. “The ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored twice Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres roar back, beat Canadiens

BUFFALO – In the not-so-distant past, the Sabres would’ve wilted in a game like Thursday’s wild 4-3 comeback victory against the Montreal Canadiens.

The upstart Sabres fell behind by one goal three times, including just 77 seconds into the tilt and again early in the third period. Each time, however, they rallied, refusing to deviate from their game plan.

“You just stay calm, composed, collected and good things happen,” said winger Kyle Okposo, whose power-play ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin sports his new No. 26 jersey Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Excitement over NHL arrival hasn’t waned for Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin

BUFFALO – On Saturday, a day after the Sabres drafted Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick was still walking around American Airlines Center proudly wearing his Blue and Gold jersey.

Most first-round selections don’t show up for the later rounds of the NHL Draft. But the day in Dallas provided the slick defenseman another opportunity to experience what he said “was my best time in my life.”

“To be able to be a part of ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (left) and Jason Botterill hold up the Swede's new jersey today. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin will wear No. 26

BUFFALO – In the Sabres’ 48-year existence, players of all talents wore No. 26 before the team awarded the digits to defenseman Rasmus Dahlin today.

Two-time 40-goal scorer Thomas Vanek sported it. So did Randy Wyrozub, one of the franchise’s first players. The Sabres issued the number 20 times before Dahlin, according to hockey-reference.com.... Read the full article

Alex Tuch battles Buffalo's Josh Gorges on Saturday afternoon. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabres fan Alex Tuch enjoys Buffalo ‘homecoming’

BUFFALO – When Alex Tuch mentioned the number of fans who would be watching him play Saturday afternoon, no one was sure if the Syracuse native was joking.

“Maybe a little bit more than 400,” the Vegas Golden Knights rookie winger said Friday.

Cheering sections for local players and even some from further locales are common at KeyBank Center. Following games, family and friends often congregate around the Zamboni entrance and wait for their hero ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has 11 goals this season after scoring three Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres waste Jack Eichel’s first hat trick, fall to Hurricanes in OT

BUFFALO – The first hat trick of Jack Eichel’s short career and the first witnessed by Sabres fans here since 2011 deserved to be celebrated wildly.

The slick center dominated Friday’s tilt late, scoring twice in a 10-second span to erase the Carolina Hurricanes’ brief third-period lead and secure the first three-goal outing of his 175-game career.

A night after registering zero shots on goal, Sabres coach Phil Housley said “something must’ve been triggered” in ... Read the full article

Chris Taylor knows the Amerks and Sabres well. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Friendship with Sabres GM Jason Botterill led Chris Taylor back to Amerks

ROCHESTER – Barely a year ago, after 14 seasons with the Americans as an AHL player and assistant coach, Chris Taylor was let go, the victim of new head coach Dan Lambert’s desire to field his own staff.

On Thursday, the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres’ top affiliate, introduced Taylor as the 32nd head coach in franchise history.

A fired coach, of course, rarely returns to his old team, let alone in a larger role so ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander is the Sabres' top prospect in Rochester. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill plans to make Rochester a priority

BUFFALO – Very quietly, general manager Jason Botterill played a key role in the development of the talent that once made the Sabres a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Botterill played three seasons with the Rochester Americans, piling up goals while helping prospects like Paul Gaustad, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek acclimate to the AHL and eventually graduate to the Sabres.... Read the full article

C.J. Smith enjoyed a big junior season. ©2017, UMass Lowell

Commitment to defense helped C.J. Smith reach Sabres

BUFFALO – After C.J. Smith led UMass Lowell in goal scoring for the third consecutive season, River Hawks coach Norm Bazin knew his star forward would have opportunities to turn pro.

Smith, who signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on Thursday, enjoyed a huge 2016-17 campaign, scoring 23 goals and 51 points in only 41 games.

But something besides Smith’s scoring prowess helped him morph from an undrafted youngster into an NHL prospect ... Read the full article