Sabres scoring first, but struggling to hold on to leads

‘In eight of their last 10 games, the Sabres have scored the first goal. They’ve won just three of those games. Of their five losses this season when scoring first, four have come in the last 10 games.’

Lehner fails to build on run, gets pulled in Sabres’ loss

‘As the Sabres’ No. 1 goaltender, Lehner will soon get another chance to finish a game. It wasn’t going to happen against the Maple Leafs, who scored three times in the opening 9:45 of the second period to ruin the night of Lehner and the Sabres.’

Mike Harrington: Sabres getting left in dust by Leafs’ rebuild

‘The Leafs have a coach who’s going to the Hall of Fame, and a general manager and president who are already there. The Sabres have a coach with a Stanley Cup on his resume who’s clearly causing fans and his own players to gnash their teeth far too much, a first-time GM and a club president who’s about the most reviled figure in town these days.’

Sabres Notebook: Okposo gets back on the scoreboard

‘“We’re skating, we’re working,” said Okposo, who was selected for the NHL All-Star Game and leads the Sabres with 13 goals. “We’ve just got to find a way to string a few together. It’s just up and down. Win one, lose one. Win two, lose two. And we’ve just got to find a way to use that speed and play full 60s.”’

Quick hits: Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3

‘The Maple Leafs entered the game 0-8-1 when trailing after one period.’

Together again, Eichel and Reinhart excel for Sabres

‘“It’s nice to be back playing with him,” Eichel said in KeyBank Center. “We’re two people who want to be out there together. We know that if we get each other the puck and get open it’s going to come back.’

Mike Harrington: Attack mode should be Sabres’ preferred method

‘”We have to play a patient game, a responsible game to get the opportunities that I think will come,” Bylsma said. “You have to play defense against this group. You have to be aware which side of the puck you’re on and if you do so, you’ll get opportunities going back the other way.’

Sabres Notebook: Ennis returns with feats of skill and creativity

‘”He’s been skating a lot for quite a long time trying to work his way back from this injury,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “And he actually pulls that lacrosse move off quite often. To have enough presence of mind to try to do it in a game when there’s grown men out there trying to crush ya, it just shows the comfort level he’s at and the ease with which he plays the game. In practice I’ve seen him put in in right in toe top corner a couple times and this one almost went in after a bounce or two. That was just a flash of his skill.”‘

Quick hits: Sabres 4, Stars 1

‘It didn’t take long to see which Sabres team was playing Monday. It was the good one.’

Lehner says Sabres need to do their job

‘“The frustrating part is there’s so many positive things in our games, but then we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot,” Lehner said. “We have a couple good games, then we get away from it. Taking a step forward and two steps back, we’ve got to find an answer.”’

Sabres Notebook: Ennis with O’Reilly; back-to-backs

‘“Being alongside them, using his speed and his playmaking ability could be a nice fit,” Bylsma said in KeyBank Center. “Jack is one of the leaders in the league at having the puck on his stick. Tyler is also a guy who likes to have the puck on his stick. If that was the case, then they’d have to have their sticks really close together.’

Sabres’ full-game effort still absent too often

‘Clearly, they’ve talked about it a lot. It’s not showing signs of changing.’

Sabres far from fine in Carolina wipeout

‘”They get a goal and you just see us drop. We got affected by it,” said center Ryan O’Reilly. “They come right back down and they score again. From there it was trying to climb back. We couldn’t do it. We didn’t have the collective everyone-together kind of thing. When things aren’t going the right way, we tend to get a little selfish and you can see it breaks us down.”‘

Sabres Notebook: Numbers games from the first half

‘”We just need to learn to get consistency in our game, in how we play and our emotions,” Bylsma said. “We’ve ridden some highs of winning games and the lows of disappointment not winning key games. We feel that (potential for a second-half push). We feel that coming from the last 17 games or so. That’s what we have to keep focusing on: Getting consistency in our game. Keep driving. Keep racking up points, getting wins and doing it at a playoff-type pace.”‘

Quick Hits: Hurricanes 5, Sabres 2

‘The loss was the Sabres’ second in two nights on their brief road trip and left them 0-2-1 against the Hurricanes this season. Carolina improved to 13-1-1 in its last 15 home games and is 14-4-1 here for the season.’