Chad Johnson has played eight games this season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson not worried about numbers

BUFFALO – In eight games this season, Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has accumulated some pretty weak numbers: 1-3-2 with a 3.55 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage.

Those statistics, even with scoring up six weeks into the season, won’t win many games.

Of course, the reeling Sabres, who rank last in the Eastern Conference, have allowed 3.5 goals a game as a team, the NHL’s third-worst total. Their porous defense consistently hangs the goalie ... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson earned a two-year contract from Vancouver. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Season with Sabres ignited goalie Anders Nilsson’s NHL career

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article

Anders Nilsson spent one season with the Sabres. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson grateful for season with Sabres

BUFFALO – Goalie Anders Nilsson figured after a breakout season in which he emerged as one of the NHL’s top backups, the Sabres would be interested in re-signing him.

In his first start-to-finish NHL campaign, Nilsson performed strongly, going 10-10-4 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a sparkling .923 save percentage.

Nilsson, 27, morphed into a terrific option for the Sabres, pushing starter Robin Lehner while showcasing consistency throughout his 26 appearances.... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark wants to take shots high. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark using head to make saves

BUFFALO – The drill, Sabres netminder Linus Ullmark explained, is “very easy.” Someone – on Tuesday it was goalie coach Andrew Allen – shoots pucks at him “top shelf.”

“I just try to get my head up there and actually try to get the puck to where I want it to go,” Ullmark said following practice inside HarborCenter.

Yes, the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Swede really tries to redirect the puck with his head.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson signed a one-year contract July 1. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Chad Johnson happy with Sabres

BUFFALO – Instead of getting a new paint job this year, goalie Chad Johnson simply dusted off the popular blue Sabres mask he sported two years ago throughout his best NHL season.

“It was one of my favorites,” Johnson said Wednesday following practice inside HarborCenter. “I had a lot of good feedback on it. … Some people wanted me to bring it back. I couldn’t come up with anything better, so I stuck with it.”... Read the full article

Robin Lehner signed a one-year contract in July. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Robin Lehner not out to prove himself

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner’s agents kept telling him to take a one-year contract. After all, the Sabres goalie could parlay another strong season into a lucrative long-term deal.

But fresh off a campaign in which Lehner established himself as the Sabres’ starter and posted the NHL’s 10th-highest save percentage, he wanted a long contract right away.... Read the full article

Phil Housley likes Marco Scandella's talents. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Phil Housley likes defense, plans to lean on Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – In a two-week span last month, general manager Jason Botterill addressed the Sabres’ most glaring weakness by acquiring defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Marco Scandella.

Is either player elite? Hardly. Still, as puck-moving defenders, Beaulieu and Scandella offer talents the Sabres sorely lacked last season and add some much-needed depth.... Read the full article

Davis Payne most recently spent time with Los Angeles. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres hire Davis Payne as associate coach

BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Davis Payne as the associate coach on new head coach Phil Housley’s staff, the team announced today.

In Payne, Housley, who has never been an NHL head coach, has a top assistant with NHL head coaching experience. Payne led the St. Louis Blues over three seasons from 2009 to 2011.

The 46-year-old most recently served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings for five seasons, winning a Stanley ... Read the full article

Chad Johnson (31) played 45 games with the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson has ‘unfinished business’ in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Some of the faces familiar to Sabres goalie Chad Johnson are gone. Tim Murray, the general manager who originally acquired him, has been fired. So has Dan Bylsma, the coach who played him regularly two seasons ago.

Still, Johnson, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return after free agency opened today, feels a certain comfort in Buffalo and believes he has “unfinished business” to make the Sabres a playoff team.... Read the full article

Chad Johnson played for the Sabres in 2015-16. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign Chad Johnson, Benoit Pouliot as free agency opens

BUFFALO – The Sabres brought back an old friend shortly after free agency opened today, signing backup goalie Chad Johnson to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

The 31-year-old spent last season with his hometown Calgary Flames, going 18-15-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 36 games.... Read the full article