BUFFALO – By the final minutes of Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win, most of the crowd of 17,731 had seen enough of the Sabres and departed KeyBank Center.
It was nothing against them. The spirited fans enjoyed the Sabres’ second straight victory – it was one of the noisiest contests this season – but they had somewhere to go.
The Bills’ AFC Wild Card game against the Houston Texans would be starting soon, and fans wanted ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After winger Scott Wilson broke his right ankle in training camp last season and missed the first three months, he spent five weeks in the minors.
While Wilson, 27, made it back to the NHL – he played 15 late-season games with the Sabres – his recovery was far from over.
“Really dealing with that ankle was a full-year thing for me,” said Wilson, who was injured Sept. 30, 2018.
So when the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For the second straight game, Sabres winger Dalton Smith skated in the pregame warm-up before being scratched.
If Smith, 27, had played in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, his uncle, former Sabres forward Wayne Primeau, could’ve seen his second NHL game.
On Monday, the Sabres signed Smith to an NHL contract and promoted him from the Rochester Americans. After 400 minor league games, the tough guy made his NHL debut ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Like a lot of NHL players, Michael Frolik’s role started changing after he turned 30. His minutes dropped. He even became a healthy scratch.
After spending most of his tenure with the Calgary Flames skating on the second line with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, the Czech winger often played under 10 minutes this season.
“I wasn’t really happy with my role,” Frolik, 31, said on a conference call Friday to discuss his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Winger Victor Olofsson’s absence for the next five to six weeks could extinguish the Sabres’ playoff hopes. From the get-go, they’ve relied on the Swedish rookie to score goals.
Now, the lower-body injury he suffered in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers could sideline him until mid-February, the Sabres announced Friday.
Having scored 16 goals and 35 points in 42 games, including six power-play goals in the first seven contests, Olofsson ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sooner or later, the unheralded Sabres line of Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo was due to erupt for some goals.
For more than four games, the trio consistently generated offense, buzzing around the opponent’s zone.
A combination regarded as the fourth just a week ago has quickly morphed into the Sabres’ most reliable line.
But other than one Okposo goal, the players hadn’t done any scoring.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ralph Krueger doesn’t pay much attention to his players’ ages. Whether you’re a teenager and or a veteran, the Sabres coach said he treats everyone the same way.
In turn, Krueger expects a rookie to have the same habits as, say, a 35-year-old.
“So for younger players, that could sometimes put pressure on them,” Krueger said prior to Friday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers inside KeyBank Center. “For older players, it ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Fresh off a terrific 40-save outing in his first appearance this season, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will start tonight’s home game the Florida Panthers.
Ullmark, 26, looked strong throughout Monday’s 4-3 overtime road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, helping the Sabres steal a point.
The Swede has compiled a 2-2-1 record with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in five career outings against the Panthers.
Sabres goalie Carter Hutton ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Winger Kyle Okposo still remembers the first time he and some other Sabres watched rookie Victor Olofsson shoot the puck.
It was training camp in 2018, and Olofsson had just arrived for his first North American season after leading the Swedish Hockey League in goals.
What Okposo and the others saw wowed them.
“We were just like, ‘Who is this kid who can shoot the puck like this?’” Okposo said Thursday inside KeyBank ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The cushion the Sabres created during their 10-game winning streak is long gone. In losing 11 out of 15 contests before Thursday’s tight 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers, they dropped from first or second place in the Atlantic Division to the Eastern Conference’s top wild card spot.
So Thursday’s victory, the Sabres’ first game without captain Jack Eichel, who’s nursing an upper-body injury and will miss at least one more game, ... Read the full article