Sabres center Evan Rodrigues skates between Colorado’s J.T. Compher (37) and Semyon Varlamov on Thursday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres implode early, get blown out by Avalanche

BUFFALO – About 32 hours before the Sabres began Thursday’s ugly 6-1 loss, veteran winger Kyle Okposo saw some ominous signs of trouble during practice.

Throughout the short season, the Sabres had been dialed in and ready, according to Okposo. But fresh off two straight wins, he said they looked sloppy during Wednesday’s session.

“It was a lot like how we played the first period,” an agitated Okposo said after the Colorado Avalanche shellacked the ... Read the full article

A lower-body injury sidelined Johan Larsson. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Johan Larsson to make season debut, play wing

BUFFALO – In his brief time with the Sabres, center Casey Mittelstadt has never even practiced beside Johan Larsson, who will return from a lower-body injury tonight.

While the Sabres used the same lineup in two straight wins, coach Phil Housley wants to give Larsson, 26, a look. So the Swede, who usually plays center, will skate at left wing beside Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson tonight against the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center.

Larsson, ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville (29) celebrates his second-period goal with Zemgus Girgensons on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville’s goal reward for fourth line’s strong play

BUFFALO – In past seasons, the line comprised of center Evan Rodrigues and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville would’ve been the Sabres’ third or even second combination.

But for the first time in years, the Sabres have legitimate NHL depth, so the trio is actually their fourth line.

Well, in terms of ice time, it’s the fourth line.... Read the full article

Carter Hutton started the Sabres’ first two games this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton instilling confidence, becoming leader

BUFFALO – In just a few weeks, goalie Carter Hutton has already instilled loads of confidence in the Sabres and established himself as one of the team’s strongest voices.

How has Hutton, 32, done it so quickly?

Well, for starters, Hutton often looked dynamic making 43 saves against the New York Rangers in Saturday’s 3-1 win. He even stymied a three-on-zero break, a stop that will probably be remembered in these parts for a long ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton made 43 saves Saturday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Conor Sheary, Carter Hutton push Sabres past Rangers

BUFFALO – It was hard to tell which moment in Saturday’s 3-1 win against the New York Rangers generated the bigger roar from Sabres fans.

Winger Conor Sheary’s power-play goal 13:15 into the tilt, a perfect shot from the left circle into the far corner, ignited the crowd of 16,824 fans inside KeyBank Center.

So did goalie Carter Hutton’s splendid save on Rangers center Brett Howden, which stymied a three-on-zero shortly after Sheary’s second power-play ... Read the full article

Remi Elie was claimed on waivers Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Remi Elie to make Sabres debut

BUFFALO – In his 90-game NHL career, Remi Elie has compiled seven goals and 21 points. The Dallas Stars utilized him as a checker, a role he will continue tonight as a fourth-line winger in his Sabres debut.

But in Elie, 23, Phil Housley sees a youngster who possesses the talents to morph into a scorer. Since the Sabres claimed him on waivers Tuesday, the coach has been praising the former second-round pick.

“I just ... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes how his team welcomed its new players. ©2018, Hickling Images

New-look Sabres excited to open season: ‘A lot of enthusiasm’

BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.

Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.

They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.

“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Patrik Berglund spent 10 seasons in St. Louis. ©2018, Hickling Images

Fun-loving Patrik Berglund already one of Sabres’ leaders

BUFFALO – Patrik Berglund’s booming voice echoed throughout HarborCenter.

“Use your stick!” the Sabres center shouted, along with another word that can’t be reprinted, during a practice drill last week.

Some of Berglund’s new teammates then quickly burst out laughing. In the midst of an intense training camp, he provided some much-needed levity.

“This game’s about having fun,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “He enjoys coming to the rink and having ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart ended his holdout Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Tage Thompson promoted; Zach Bogosian, Sam Reinhart to debut

BUFFALO – Instead of utilizing Sam Reinhart or Kyle Okposo at right wing on the No. 1 line tonight, Sabres coach Phil Housley will give youngster Tage Thompson a look beside center Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner.

Thompson, 20, scored a nifty goal in Friday’s 5-3 loss in Toronto, carrying the puck into the zone before toe-dragging and unleashing a wicked wrist shot from the right circle.

“I really liked what he brought to ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin played more than 21 minutes Tuesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres rookie Rasmus Dahlin calms nerves, looks strong in debut

BUFFALO – Rasmus Dahlin never looks nervous. For months, whatever the situation – the NHL Draft, development camp or training camp – the ultra-talented Sabres rookie has always showcased a cool demeanor.

But on Tuesday, before the first overall pick’s NHL exhibition debut, he said he started feeling some nerves.

Then Dahlin, 18, made his first pass, and his first-game jitters disappeared.... Read the full article