BUFFALO – Former Sabres winger Drew Stafford still remembers the first time he saw Mike Grier.
It was the mid-1990s, more than a decade before they became teammates with the Sabres for two seasons. Stafford would sometimes help his uncle, Barry, the Edmonton Oilers’ equipment manager, as a stick boy. Grier, meanwhile, was just beginning his 14-year NHL career as a winger.
“I was like, ‘This is the largest human being I’ve even seen ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Tonight’s tilt will be lacking some star power and its two main attractions.
An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who skated with his teammates again this morning, a third straight game.
“We’re just being cautious with that,” coach Phil Housley said after the Sabres prepared for the New Jersey Devils inside KeyBank Center.
Meanwhile, a lower-body ailment will shelve New Jersey winger Taylor Hall, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – About halfway through this morning’s practice, Sabres captain Jack Eichel stepped out on the ice and joined his teammates.
While Eichel, who has missed two games with an upper-body injury, did not take any line rushes inside KeyBank Center, his presence is a good sign.
The Sabres’ No. 1 center and leading scorer skated a bit as an extra defenseman and also took some reps on the power play.
Coach Phil Housley said ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons, a steady presence on the fourth line this season, is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury, coach Phil Housley said.
Girgensons, 24, has formed a strong duo beside center Johan Larsson, giving the Sabres some valuable minutes.
“Zemgus has done a terrific job,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I think with Larsson and him together, they have a unique chemistry, and whoever we put down there ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Of all the guys Sabres winger Jason Pominville could’ve collided with two weeks ago, it had to be 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.
“(I) end up hitting pretty much a Finnish wall over there,” the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pominville said following this afternoon’s practice inside HarborCenter. “So it’s a tough guy to hit if you’re going to pick one.”
Pominville has missed three straight games since his teammate accidentally steamrolled him during a line ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark could’ve been forgiven if it took him a little time to acclimate to his new role as a backup, perhaps the NHL’s toughest job.
No. 2 netminders often go a week or more without playing. When they finally start, they often receive the second of back-to-back games.
But Ullmark, 25, has transitioned nicely into his new gig, winning eight of his first 13 appearances subbing for No. 1 goalie ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – One play was a highlight-reel goal. Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons didn’t just steal the puck and outmuscle any ordinary defenseman to score a first-period goal Tuesday; he made former Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty look silly.
The other play, while not as memorable, was just as critical to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Kings. In the third period, Girgensons outraced Jeff Carter to negate an icing.
“It’s little details ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – We’d seen contests like Tuesday’s come-from-behind 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings from the Sabres before. They played, oh, about eight of them during their thrilling 10-game winning streak last month.
After a nondescript or subpar opening 40 minutes or so, the Sabres often roar back late and win in overtime or a shootout.
It’s a risky way to win games, for sure, but those type of triumphs briefly elevated them to ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On April 1, defenseman Matt Hunwick made his 521st NHL appearance, skating just over 12 minutes in Pittsburgh’s 3-1 loss in Washington.
More than eight months later, Hunwick, 33, hasn’t played another game. That should, however, change tonight for the Sabres newcomer, who has missed the first 31 contests this season recovering from a neck injury.
The Sabres plan to have Hunwick start an AHL rehab assignment with the Rochester Americans, Sabres coach ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Since goalie Carter Hutton is healthy enough to back up Linus Ullmark tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, the Sabres sent Scott Wedgewood to the AHL this morning.
Hutton, who played 21 times this season, missed Saturday afternoon’s 6-2 loss to Philadelphia.
“He had a really good day yesterday,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I just want to get him in one more practice before he plays.”... Read the full article