By JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Though the playoffs are out of the picture, the Buffalo Sabres are showing signs of maturing during a late-season run which has them on an 8-3-3 roll. That’s a major difference from where the team was a year ago during a 18-game slump to match the NHL’s 18th longest skid. Coach Don Granato credits the turnaround to his young team buying into his message of playing without hesitation or fear. The results have been apparent during a 14-game run in which Buffalo counts six wins against playoff contenders and rallied from a 4-0 deficit in a 6-5 win over Chicago.