Jonas Johansson rebounded after a slow start. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres stick with Jonas Johansson, nearly roar back against Ducks

BUFFALO – After the Anaheim Ducks scored their third goal early Sunday afternoon, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he considered yanking goalie Jonas Johansson.

Could you blame him?

Johansson, 24, struggled mightily for the opening 12 minutes of his second NHL start, allowing three goals on four shots after stopping the first two he faced.

The Swede looked a bit off and uncomfortable in the crease. He knew the hook might be coming.

“It ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has endured a rough few months. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

With Linus Ullmark injured, Sabres will likely turn to goalie Carter Hutton

BUFFALO – While Sabres coach Ralph Krueger wouldn’t reveal tonight’s starting goalie, it’s a safe bet he will utilize Carter Hutton against the Montreal Canadiens.

Throughout a three-month slump in which he has morphed into a spare part, Hutton, 34, has quietly gone about his business, expressing confidence in his ability to bounce back and showing support for his teammates.

With workhorse Linus Ullmark sidelined three to four weeks with a lower-body injury, Krueger ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has handled a heavy workload well. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark thriving in new role as Sabres’ starter

BUFFALO – Goalie Linus Ullmark’s second full NHL season has quickly become a blur. The Swede has started 32 of the Sabres’ 49 games, putting him on pace to play a career-high 54 times entering tonights contest against the Ottawa Senators.

The loquacious Ullmark, 26, has enjoyed a massive workload since Nov. 19, starting 24 of the last 29 games. During his emergence as the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie, he has played more games and ... Read the full article

Colin Miller (33) battles the New York Islanders' Anders Lee on Saturday. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres bounce back after dreadful effort, still lose to scorching Islanders

BUFFALO – Sooner or later it had to happen. Slumps are inevitable, and the Sabres, the NHL’s biggest early-season surprise, avoided one for nearly a month.

“You’re not going to go through a whole season without facing adversity,” captain Jack Eichel said following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the scorching New York Islanders, the Sabres’ third straight setback (0-2-1).

After winning nine of their first 12 games, the Sabres, having dropped four of the last five ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton will start his eighth game tonight. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ goalie rotation has helped boost early-season success

BUFFALO – After watching Linus Ullmark’s 41-save shutout Friday, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton will start again tonight, his eighth nod this season.

Thanks to their two-game trip to Sweden next week, the Sabres’ schedule is jam-packed.

So through 12 games, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has mostly rotated the netminders, trying to balance their workload. Krueger even sticks to the goalie plan he and assistant coach Mike Bales have devised following shutouts.

“It’s something that ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton started Thursday's game. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ plan for goalies Carter Hutton, Linus Ullmark still unclear

BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.

Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.

But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.

Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played a career-high 50 games last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start opener; Evan Rodrigues to sit

PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.

But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.

The veteran will ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith played 11 NHL games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL star C.J. Smith intent on sticking with Sabres this season

BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.

Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).

Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark finished poorly last season after a fast start. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark upbeat following tough season

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark figured he was better equipped to handle the grind of a seven-month, 82-game NHL season.

Ullmark, after all, thrived while carrying the load in his final two AHL seasons, playing 99 games before graduating to the NHL.

“But it’s a totally different thing, totally different beast to tame when you get up here in ‘The Show,’” Ullmark said Friday following the opening sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju won two gold medals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju impressed Sabres GM Jason Botterill before up-close look

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knew of Henri Jokiharju’s talents before he watched the defenseman up close during Team Finland’s run to a gold medal at the World Championship in the spring.

So even if Botterill hadn’t run Team Canada’s entry in Slovakia, the Sabres still might’ve dished winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jokiharju on July 9.

“It certainly helps things out to see a player play on ... Read the full article