Marcus Johansson has a 12-game goal drought. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson frustrated by struggles: ‘I know how well I can play’

BUFFALO – In his first days here, Marcus Johansson quickly established himself as one of the Sabres’ most reliable presences on and off the ice.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger named Johansson an alternate captain before he played a regular-season game. Krueger also switched the veteran to center, a position he hadn’t played regularly since his rookie year.

Johansson, 29, started the season scorching as the No. 2 center, scoring four goals in the first nine ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has missed nine games. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo accompanies Sabres on road trip

BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo, out since suffering a concussion Nov. 16, accompanied the Sabres on their three-game road trip, which begins Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

Okposo, who started practicing Monday, has missed the last nine games. Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said the veteran is day-to-day.

Meanwhile, with forward Evan Rodrigues ready to return from a five-game absence (lower-body), the Sabres sent center Jean-Sebastien Dea back to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is in his first pro season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named ECHL goalie of month

Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November after compiling a 6-2-1-0 record with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and two shutouts with the Cincinnati Cyclones.

After undergoing hip surgery in late April, the Sabres sent Luukkonen, 20, to the Cyclones last month to begin his pro career.

The Sabres drafted the Finn, the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP and top goalie last season, in the ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has gotten off to a strong start. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner still scoring goals without Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – Through 28 games, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has resisted the temptation to reunite 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner and captain Jack Eichel.

When Krueger broke up the lethal duo before the season, it felt like only a temporary move. How long could he really keep them apart, right?

Well, two months later, the NHL All-Stars are still skating on separate lines.

Krueger awarded rookie Victor Olofsson a coveted spot as Eichel’s left winger, an ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund has played 10 NHL games. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Asplund thrilled to score first goal with parents watching

BUFFALO – After the Sabres recalled center Rasmus Asplund last month, his parents traveled from Sweden to catch some of his first NHL games.

For about a week, they watched their son, one of the Sabres’ top prospects, grow more and more comfortable.

Asplund recorded his first NHL point, a short-handed assist, Wednesday. He nearly scored on a penalty shot Friday.

“I knew it was close,” Asplund said of his first NHL goal.

But ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar played six games during his recent recall. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send Curtis Lazar to Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent winger Curtis Lazar, a healthy scratch the last four games, back to the Rochester Americans this morning.

Lazar, 24, played six games during his latest NHL stint, scoring one goal.

The Sabres’ decision to start utilizing 11 forwards and seven defensemen essentially pushed Lazar out of the lineup.

With winger Kyle Okposo back practicing after suffering a concussion last month, Lazar was no longer needed.... Read the full article

Conor Sheary scored twice Monday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres annihilate Devils, move into third place in Atlantic Division

BUFFALO – Over the past week or so, the Sabres settled down and started showcasing some of the early-season form that made them one of the NHL’s heavyweights.

Their ability to play tighter defense helped them consistently generate more offense. While it had only resulted in two wins, it felt like the Sabres could bust out soon.

Luckily for them, the hapless New Jersey Devils visited town.

In its 22-year existence, around 2,700 periods of ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo suffered a concussion Nov. 16. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Retirement crossed Kyle Okposo’s mind following latest concussion with Sabres

BUFFALO – Right away, Kyle Okposo knew something was wrong. Having suffered at least three concussions earlier in his Sabres career, the winger understands the symptoms well.

“I just knew right away that the neck wasn’t good,” said Okposo, who suffered his fourth concussion Nov. 16 when he collided with Ottawa Senators defenseman Ron Hainsey leaving the bench.

Right now, Okposo feels good again. The affable veteran smiled and was upbeat Monday morning after skating ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has earned Ralph Krueger's trust. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Victor Olofsson quickly develops into all-around presence

BUFFALO – Victor Olofsson’s ability to quickly adapt and evolve has helped him morph from an unheralded Sabres prospect into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Just weeks after beginning his North American career last season, Olofsson established himself as one of the AHL’s top scorers with the Rochester Americans.

Following his terrific 30-goal, 63-point campaign, the Swedish winger graduated to Buffalo, scoring six times in the first seven games this year.

But Olofsson, ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played splendidly Saturday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres showing signs of progress, close month one point out of playoff spot

TORONTO – Following a few dismal weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have quietly started showing signs of snapping out of their long funk.

Sure, Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Maple Leafs closed a disappointing November in which they went 3-8-2, losing 10 out of 13 games.

But the Sabres finished the month strongly, going 2-1-2. Earning points in four out of five contests during a busy seven-day stretch illustrates progress.

They’ll begin December in fourth ... Read the full article