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Furious comeback comes up short in loss to Blue Jackets

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Asked to explain Evander Kane's career-best production so far this season, Phil Housley boiled it down to a simple premise: Kane shoots the most, and therefore he scores the most. Kane entered Monday ranked third in the NHL in shots and tied for seventh in goals. 

Kane's seven shot attempts led the Sabres against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night and, accordingly, he cashed in on his 12th goal of the season. The problem was that it took too long for the rest of team to follow suit, and a furious third-period comeback came up short in a 3-2 loss. 

After the game, Kane echoed a message his coach has been preaching throughout the season, saying the Sabres need to focus on developing a shooting mentality.

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Sabres fall to Hurricanes on Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Buffalo

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

For a moment at KeyBank Center on Saturday night, it seemed like Evander Kane may have willed the Buffalo Sabres toward a victory. Ten seconds after Kane had scored to erase a 1-0 deficit with 7:33 remaining, he crashed the net and again knocked the puck over the goal line, seemingly to give the Sabres a lead.

Instead, the goal was overturned when officials ruled that Kane had scored using a kicking motion, and the moment became a microcosm of the greater problem in an eventual 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. 

"It's a 1-1 game late in the third period," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "We battled back in the game, but we make a mistake and it ends up in our net. I think the bottom line is they took advantage of our mistakes and we didn't take advantage of theirs."

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Sabres unable to slow down Red Wings attack in road loss

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

DETROIT - Robin Lehner did his part to keep the Buffalo Sabres in their game against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at Little Caesars Arena, making 30 saves, but it still wasn't enough for Buffalo to avoid their fourth straight loss. 

The Sabres entered the third period down 1-0 and outshot 21-10. Ryan O'Reilly managed to tie the game 5:50 into the third, but Detroit quickly took the lead back 2:46 later on a Tomas Tatar slap shot. Dylan Larkin then sealed the deal with 4:06 remaining to give Detroit the 3-1 win.

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Sabres cite change in mentality as reason for OT loss in Pittsburgh

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

PITTSBURGH - Through two periods on Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres went toe-to-toe with the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions and never seemed to blink. When the Pittsburgh Penguins punched, the Sabres punched back, sometimes literally and other times by finding the back of the net. 

It all added up to a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. What happened next stemmed from an overall shift in the team's mindset, at least in the opinions of the players who spoke following the game.

"First two periods I thought we tried to take it to them, third period we sat back and let them take it to us," Sabres forward Jack Eichel said. "We played scared to lose and not to win. They're a good hockey team. We knew we were going to get a hard push."

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Sabres come up short in overtime loss to Canadiens

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

MONTREAL - For the second time this season, Nathan Beaulieu and the Buffalo Sabres thought they played well enough to win against the Montreal Canadiens but only came away with one point to show for it. 

A non-call and a broken stick for Beaulieu preceded a breakaway chance for Max Pacioretty in overtime, and the captain of the Canadiens converted to clinch a 2-1 win for Montreal at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

Sabres coach Phil Housley was left feeling pleased with the way his team played the game, but disappointed with the result.

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Sabres lack consistency in loss to Panthers

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

For the Buffalo Sabres, the key to any potential success going into their game against the Florida Panthers on Friday was simply to repeat what they had done well in their last game, a win at home over Washington on Tuesday night. 

The Sabres were able to replicate that effort in the first period, but reverted back to bad habits in what eventually turned into a 4-1 loss at KeyBank Center.

"We didn't keep doing what made us successful against Washington," Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said. "We get these results."

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Sabres stay the course under pressure in win over Capitals

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

One of the learning points that Phil Housley has repeated as being essential to the Buffalo Sabres turning their season around is the ability to not crack under pressure. Too often this season the Sabres have found themselves in close games, and deviated from their game plan as a result. 

Housley mentioned that commitment to the game plan as a key going into Buffalo's game against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Sure enough, the Sabres found themselves in a 1-1 tie entering the third period.

On this occasion, the Sabres didn't deviate. They left KeyBank Center with a 3-1 win to show for it.

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Sabres unable to overcome early deficit in loss to Stars

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

DALLAS - If there was a common sentiment in the visiting dressing room at American Airlines Center on Saturday night, it was that the Buffalo Sabres played better than the score of their loss to the Dallas Stars would indicate.

Indeed, the Sabres controlled the play for the first three minutes of the game until a goal for Remi Elie snowballed into a 4-0 deficit by period's end. The Sabres outshot the Stars the rest of the way, but were only able to bury one of their chances in an eventual 5-1 loss.

"When I evaluate the game, I think we played well," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "The score tells you differently, and there's probably going to be a lot of people that disagree with me. But I think we got the start we wanted. There were some bad bounces that occurred."

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Sabres survive comeback attempt, hold onto win in Arizona

by Jourdon LaBarber @JourdonLaBarber / Sabres.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. - It ended up coming down to the very last second, but once their game against the Arizona Coyotes had drawn to its conclusion the Buffalo Sabres were simply happy to be leaving Gila River Arena with a victory on Thursday night. 

Make no mistake, the Sabres are aware of the areas in their game that they need to clean up. Phil Housley said his team started like they hadn't played in four days (they hadn't), and players felt they took their foot off the pedal to allow Arizona to storm back from a 5-1 deficit in the last eight minutes.

But the result - a 5-4 win for the Sabres - was what mattered most in the end.

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When it comes to process of winning, Housley compares Sabres to Bills

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Following a practice geared more toward rest and lightening the mood on Sunday morning, the Buffalo Sabres turned up the tempo as they got back to work at HarborCenter on Tuesday. It was the kind of session that he become a trademark under Phil Housley: short in duration, but high in intensity. 

Housley said Sunday that when the Sabres have had strong performance in games, as they did against San Jose on Saturday, they've often been preceded by strong practices. The team is looking to replicate that effect as they prepare for a two-game road trip that begins in Arizona on Thursday. 

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