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Sabres' comeback effort runs out of time in Florida

Wilcox makes his debut; O'Reilly breaks faceoff record

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

SUNRISE, Fla. -  Once the final horn sounded and the Buffalo Sabres' season had come to its end, the contrasting images in the visiting dressing room at BB&T Center on Saturday told the story of another campaign gone too soon and what lies ahead.

Adam Wilcox stood at one stall, smiling after stopping all 17 of the shots he faced in his NHL debut. Wilcox is one of eight current Sabres who are now eligible to return to the Rochester Americans for their Calder Cup Playoff run, a promising sign for the organization's future. 

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Mittelstadt, Nylander net 1st NHL goals in loss to Lightning

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

TAMPA - Phil Housley spoke Friday morning about the kind of impression a trip to Amalie Arena might make on Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Nylander. As it turned out, the two young forwards managed to make quite an impression themselves.

Mittelstadt and Nylander both scored their first NHL goals within the first seven minutes of the Buffalo Sabres' 7-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, a game in which the Sabres erased deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 before ultimately falling on a pair of third-period goals.

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Sabres fall to Senators on Fan Appreciation Night

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Ryan O'Reilly scored a mere 30 seconds into the tilt between the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators on Monday, and for a moment it seemed like it might be a KeyBank Center finale to remember. Instead, the game turned out to be a microcosm of what's been a disappointing season on home ice.

The Senators responded with two goals of their own withing six minutes of O'Reilly scoring, from Max McCormick and Matt Duchene. Ryan Dzingel added another early in the third, giving Ottawa a lead it would never relinquish in a 4-2 loss for the Sabres.  

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Second-period mistakes cost Sabres in loss to Leafs

Guhle out with upper-body injury; Reinhart hits new career-highs

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

TORONTO - Sam Reinhart set new career-highs for goals and points in a season with a power-play marker early in the second period, but turnovers and defensive lapses proved costly for the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday. 

The Maple Leafs scored three goals in the span of 5:31 - two from William Nylander and one from Auston Matthews - following Reinhart's goal, which had tied the game at one goal apiece. Nylander and Matthews finished the game with three points each, having both tallied two goals and an assist. 

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Sabres rally after Antipin's injury to earn win in Nashville

Reinhart notches hat trick; Eichel tallies 5 assists

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

NASHVILLE - For a long stretch of the second period on Saturday night, a building with the reputation of being one of the NHL's loudest stood silent. Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin laid face down on the ice near the end boards, where he was tended to by trainers until being carted off on a stretcher. 

Antipin was injured on a hit from behind by Nashville Predators forward Scott Hartnell, who received a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. Sabres coach Phil Housley said after the game that the defenseman was hospitalized but doing well. 

With their teammate down, the Sabres responded with three goals on the ensuing power play - two from Sam Reinhart and one from Kyle Okposo - turning a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead in an eventual 7-4 win over the league's best team at Bridgestone Arena. 

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Sabres squander early momentum in loss to Red Wings

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Between the excitement surrounding Casey Mittelstadt's debut and the quick two-goal lead for the home team, there was a palpable energy at KeyBank Center in the early going of the Buffalo Sabres' game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. 

One mistake led to another, however, and eventually a series of miscues by the Sabres piled up into a 6-3 loss. 

The Sabres led 2-0 by the 7:11 mark of the first period on the strength of goals from Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly. The lead was short-lived, as Dylan Larkin scored to put the Red Wings on the board just 30 seconds later. 

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Eichel scores twice to lead Sabres past Leafs

Johnson makes 39 saves as Sabres snap losing streak

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

TORONTO - On a day that began with the Buffalo Sabres adding a player they hope will be a major piece of their future, a young star already on their roster provided more cause for optimism. The fact that it came against the team's biggest rival was icing on the cake.

Jack Eichel scored a pair of goals to bookend the scoring for the Sabres in 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday night. It was a fitting conclusion to a day that began with Casey Mittelstadt signing a three-year, entry-level contract. 

All in all, it was a step in the right direction for the Sabres, who not only snapped Toronto's 13-game winning streak at home but also their own four-game losing streak.

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Sabres lament defensive lapses following loss in New York

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

NEW YORK - Sam Reinhart scored his 20th goal of the season on Saturday. He wishes it would have meant more.

Reinhart's was the lone goal scored for the Sabres in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, their fourth in a row. The Sabres have been outscored 16-2 in those games despite outshooting their opponents in each of them. 

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Housley disappointed with effort in loss to Coyotes

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Phil Housley had stressed how important the two available points were for the Buffalo Sabres against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night. The Sabres began the night trailing the Coyotes by one point at the bottom of the standings, leaving a lot of pride on the line in their matchup.

Having an opportunity to climb out of the cellar made the outcome all the more disappointing. The Sabres only trailed by a goal going into the second intermission but managed just six shots in the third period of an eventual 4-1 loss. Housley voiced his frustration with his team's work level after the game. 

"It's an opportunity to get back in the game, and they outworked us in the third period," he said. "I'm telling the group that we have 10 periods left to play in this building [this season], that's what's the frustrating part, because it's not the way we have played, it's not the response we're looking for. It's disappointing."

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Sabres unable to solve Rinne in loss to Predators

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Behind the bench of the Nashville Predators for the past four seasons, Phil Housley was the benefactor of many a strong performance from goaltender Pekka Rinne. Facing his former organization for the first time on Monday, he found himself on the opposite side of that equation. 

The Buffalo Sabres outshot the NHL-leading Predators but were ultimately stifled by Nashville's All-Star goaltender in a 4-0 loss. Rinne made 35 saves for his league-leading eighth shutout of the season and extended his personal win streak to 11 games. 

"You saw it tonight, he makes some really big-time saves," Housley said. "We had some really golden looks he made look really easy."

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