Halfway there: Sabres on 100-point pace

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Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley, top, talks with Zach Bogosian (4) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Last season, the Sabres had 62 total points and finished dead last in the league standings.

Midway through this season, the Blue & Gold have 50 points and are in the thick of the postseason conversation.

The Sabres snapped a three-game losing streak Thursday niight behind another strong effort from Jeff Skinner, who is now second in the league in scoring with 28 goals.

While he was left of the NHL’s initial roster, the winger has a chance to be voted in through the NHL’s “Last Man Ballott,” something netminder Linus Ullmark joked about following their win over Florida.

I’m trying as much as I can,” Ullmark said when asked about voting for his teammate.  “We’re all trying.”

Kidding aside, there is a buzz around the team that hasn’t been there in several years thanks in part to Skinner’s first half performance. Following their win on Thursday, head coach Phil Housley was asked to share his thoughts about being on a 100-point pace.

“Basing off last year, I’d be pretty happy. We have a lot of work to do obviously,” said Housley.  “This is a big game for us — Florida was a big game for us. We haven’t had good fortune against them.  Our guys found a way to win. There’s a lot of work to be done ahead of us.”

“I think there are a lot of good things. Consistency, every team is looking for it. To win consistently,” added Skinner.  “Great game, good game, and play your style every night. That’s the challenge.  We’ve gotten contributions from sort of everyone and that’s made us successful and we’ve got to try to continue to do that.”

The Sabres will get another chance to find some consistency Saturday when travel to Boston.

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