Linus Ullmark looked sharp as Friday's game progressed. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode early, rally in loss to Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Following a three-year AHL apprenticeship, the Sabres expect goalie Linus Ullmark to play around 30 games this season as their new backup.

So watching the Maple Leafs score on their first two shots and three of their first eight in the opening 3:42 of Friday’s preseason tilt had to be concerning.

Then Ullmark, 25, settled down nicely after the Sabres, who opened the scoring 30 seconds in, fell behind 3-1. Over the final ... Read the full article

Alexander has enjoyed a strong training camp. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Alexander Nylander enjoying strong camp

BUFFALO – Coaches regularly jumble their preseason line combinations as they evaluate talent and move players in and out. What you see during exhibition games usually doesn’t stick together for the regular season.

Still, one intriguing trio the Sabres will utilize tonight could remain intact.

This morning inside KeyBank Center, coach Phil Housley assembled three first-round picks – center Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander and Tage Thompson – for the Sabres’ road tilt against the ... Read the full article

Sean Malone looked impressive early in training camp. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres forwards Conor Sheary, Sean Malone out with injuries

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary, a newcomer expected to skate on a top line, is week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Friday’s practice.

“In the first day (of training camp), he took a hit the wrong way, and we’re just making sure we’re on top of that,” said Sabres coach Phil Housley, who is dealing with three notable injuries just five days into camp.

Center Sean Malone will miss six weeks after ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson is one of the longest-tenured Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Poor season forced Sabres’ Johan Larsson to change

BUFFALO – Instead of talking about Johan Larsson’s rough season, Sabres coach Phil Housley chose to praise the Swedish center for the transformations he has made.

Larsson struggled mightily in 2017-18, enduring his worst NHL campaign. How bad was he? His wretched minus-30 was the fourth-worst rating among NHL forwards. He scored two of his career-low four goals into empty nets.

But Larsson, 26, accepted Housley and general manager Jason Botterill’s challenge to change ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues tries to pry the puck from Washington goalie Philipp Grubauer last season. The Capitals visit Buffalo once next season. ©2018, Hickling Images

2018-19 Sabres schedule features early home stand, long January break

DALLAS – A season-opening four-game home stand, a 10-day January break and a Feb. 23 visit from superstar Alex Ovechkin and the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals are among the highlights of the 2018-19 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released Thursday.

The Sabres open Oct. 4 against the Boston Bruins and stay at KeyBank Center until Oct. 11. Then they begin a season-long five-game road trip Oct. 13 in Arizona, also visiting Vegas, San Jose, ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark was a sixth-round pick in 2012. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to find steals in NHL Draft contributed to demise

BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.

When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.

But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen always plays big minutes. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen only knows losing at NHL level

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen normally offers little insight. Whether the defenseman’s talking about himself or the Sabres, his answers are short and, well, pretty bland.

But after the Sabres completed another miserable season earlier this month, Ristolainen, 23, opened up a bit and talked about how the constant losing he has experienced has taken its toll on him.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander played his fifth NHL game Thursday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Productive stretch earns Alexander Nylander recall to Sabres

BUFFALO – Four or five months ago, it appeared slick Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander’s second pro season would be a dud.

In rookie camp, Nylander suffered a lower-body injury, costing him more than two months. The former eighth overall pick struggled following his season debut in mid-November, mustering only one goal and four points in his first 12 AHL outings.

But Nylander, 20, started turning a miserable campaign around early in the winter. The winger ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hadn't scored a goal since Feb. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel scores twice as Sabres end Maple Leafs’ home winning streak

TORONTO – By Jack Eichel’s standards, he hadn’t scored in an eternity.

Thanks to the Buffalo Sabres center’s short slump and a high ankle sprain that cost him 15 games, he went 46 days and six games without scoring before his nifty two-goal effort in Monday’s 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

“I hadn’t scored in a month and a half, it’s not a little bit,” Eichel said after the Sabres ended the Maple Leafs’ 13-game home winning ... Read the full article

Nathan Beaulieu (82) shadows Toronto's Zach Hyman on March 15. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nathan Beaulieu to sit out against Canadiens

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is a “little sore” and will miss tonight’s tilt against his old team, the Montreal Canadiens, coach Phil Housley said.

But if Beaulieu, 25, hadn’t taken a puck to his upper body last game, he would still be scratched.

“He was not playing in this game tonight,” Housley said this morning.

Defenseman Josh Gorges, a Canadiens regular for eight seasons, will return tonight. Gorges, 33, has sat out ... Read the full article