The Sabres are ‘starting to develop a belief that we can win’

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With five wins in their last seven, the Buffalo Sabres have good reason for optimism.

“We’re starting to develop a belief that we can win and how we’re going to win,” said coach Dan Bylsma, per the club’s website. “Early in the season, we played well. We did some good things. But we might not have had the belief that we could win hockey games.”

Now, it should be noted that the Sabres enjoyed a brief winning run last year as well. From Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, they went 10-3-0.

But that run was mostly thanks to the goaltending of Jhonas Enroth. The Sabres were winning games when they were getting outshot 45-19 and 30-14 and 44-26. They were far, far from dominant.

Things are different this year. While they’re still not among the top possession teams, they’re vastly improved in that area. Adding Ryan O'Reilly and Jack Eichel at center certainly hasn’t hurt.

“We feel good. We feel like we’re in the game and regardless of what the score is, we still have a chance,” said forward Brian Gionta. “That’s what you want from your team, is whether you’re trailing 3-1 or you’re up 2-1, you have a good chance of winning that game.”

The Sabres (7-8-0) are in Sunrise to play the Panthers (6-6-3) tonight.

Buffalo is only three points back of a playoff spot.

(Just saying.)