Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Buffalo Sabres

Pominville, Scandella believe Sabres can rebound

Josefson practices; Kane talks clutch goals

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

With the Minnesota Wild coming to town on Wednesday, it was fitting for Jason Pominville to draw a comparison to his former team while assessing the current situation for the Buffalo Sabres after practice at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Specifically, Pominville looked back to the 2014-15 season, when the Wild had lost 12 out of 14 games prior to acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk on Jan. 14. The Wild won Dubnyk's debut 7-0 in Buffalo and then went on to win 28 of their last 40 games en route to a playoff berth.

The moral of the story, Pominville said, is that everything remains possible at this point of the season.

"Anything's possible when you believe, when you get back to that swagger, that confidence as a team," he said. "You feel like anything you do, you can't be denied. Right now, it's almost the other way where we're giving up a bounce and we're getting scored on or we're not getting the bounce offensively.

" … We're not going to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. We are where we are. We've got to dig deep and keep working and keep pushing to be better."

Video: Sabres Now (11/21/17)

Following a loss to Columbus on Monday, the Sabres are 0-4-2 in their last six games and 5-12-4 this season. They nearly came back against the Blue Jackets, cutting a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 in the latter half of the third period, but ultimately fell short of tying the game.

Sam Reinhart scored to put the Sabres on the board in thate game, which served to sprak the team for the remainder of the night. Likewise, Pominville and fellow former Wild player Marco Scandella said the Sabres need a spark to their season, similar to what Dubnyk was for them in 2015.

"There's a lot of things that can change it," Scandella said. "It can be that. It can be just a big come-from-behind win, a big win on the road, or just stringing a couple together. That's what we need to do. We need to find a way to win a game and it's just going to open everything up."

Stringing wins together has been one of Buffalo's struggles this season, having won back-to-back games on just once occasion. Few players know better than Pominville and Scandella about what it takes to create a winning streak, having both been a part of Minnesota's 12-game streak last season.

"You just get into that rhythm and you feel good about your game, you feel good about yourself," Pominville said. "The team feels good about itself. We just felt we couldn't be denied. No matter what, we were going to win that game. It's a great feeling to have. 

"We had it last year when we won [12] in a row. You find ways to win where some games you probably don't deserve to … It's definitely a fun feeling to have."

Coverage of Buffalo's game against Minnesota on Wednesday begins at 6:30 p.m. with GMC Gamenight on MSG-B. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

Kane in the clutch

Not only has Evander Kane managed to score goals at an elite level dating back to December of last season, he's also showed a knack for coming up in clutch situations. Kane has scored tying goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation on three occasions this season - at Boston, at Vegas and at home against Carolina on Saturday - and two of those goals came in the final 2:30.

On Monday, Kane scored the goal that brought the Sabres within one with 3:32 left in the game. His seven third-period goals this season tie him for third in the NHL, with New York's John Tavares and Minnesota's Jason Zucker being the only players ahead of him with eight each.

"I want the puck on my stick when the game's on the line or in tough situations," Kane said. "I embrace those opportunities. You want to have the confidence, I want to be the guy to make the difference. That's been my personality ever since I put on skates."

 

Tuesday's practice

Video: Phil Housley After Practice

Jacob Josefson skated with the team for the second day in a row and is a possibility to join the lineup against the Wild on Wednesday, Sabres coach Phil Housley said. Josefson has missed 15 games since tweaking his ankle in Anaheim on Oct. 15.

He centered a line with Jordan Nolan and Kyle Okposo on Tuesday, with Matt Moulson and Seth Griffith skating as extra forwards.

"That stabilization down through the middle, somebody that you can trust playing in any situation, especially on our penalty kill, can relieve some minutes off our top guys," Housley said. "He provides speed and positionally he's one of the best on our team, just knowing where to be in the situation."

Josefson was held without a point in the six games he played prior to his injury, but said he felt like he was just starting to get his legs under him by the time he was forced leave the game in Anaheim.

"I'm very anxious to play," Josefson said. "I hope I can bring a lot of energy to the group. Hopefully it's good to get some fresh legs in there."

Okposo also practiced on the fourth line as he continues to try and work his way out of the slump he's experienced to begin the season. After an All-Star campaign a season ago, he's scored eight points (2+6) in 19 games.

"Kyle's a tremendous competitor and gets down on himself," Housley said. "I think today was a good example of what he has to bring. He has to bring the attitude of just working, bringing a speed element, and that's where it starts."

Here's how the full lineup looked at practice:

9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 23 Sam Reinhart
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 22 Johan Larsson - 51 Kyle Criscuolo
17 Jordan Nolan - 10 Jacob Josefson - 21 Kyle Okposo
26 Matt Moulson - 25 Seth Griffith

6 Marco Scandella - 41 Justin Falk
19 Jake McCabe - 93 Victor Antipin
4 Josh Gorges - 82 Nathan Beaulieu
8 Casey Nelson 

40 Robin Lehner
31 Chad Johnson

 

View More