Kyle Okposo celbrates his game-winning goal Sunday afternoon. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo’s goals help Sabres beat Jets, surge back into playoff race

BUFFALO – Suddenly, the Sabres have roared back into the playoff chase. A few dreadful losses over the past month seemed to extinguish their faint hope of playing meaningful games down the stretch.

But a perfect weekend moved the fifth-place Sabres to within six points – in these parts, that’s meaningful – of the sputtering Toronto Maple Leafs, who own the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot.

The trade deadline hits at 3 p.m. today. Are ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey has started scoring after a slow start. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jimmy Vesey, Sabres’ other UFAs should draw interest at trade deadline

BUFFALO – Forget about Jimmy Vesey’s slow start. Since the Sabres winger registered his first goal Nov. 25, he has scored nine times in 37 games.

Over a full season, that’s a 20-goal pace. Vesey, 26, has saved his best hockey for the past few weeks, performing more like the player the Sabres likely envisioned when they traded the New York Rangers a third-round pick for him.

The Harvard product has also evolved into ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored two goals Saturday afternoon. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres throttle Penguins early, cruise to rare win in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – The response was perhaps the Buffalo Sabres’ most emphatic all year.

Four days after suffering a brutal loss, the Sabres throttled the Penguins early in Saturday afternoon’s 5-2 victory, scoring 14 seconds into the game and opening up a 3-0 lead by the 10:55 mark.

When the Penguins scored about halfway through the game, the Sabres barely flinched.

“After the (3-1) goal there was a short little moment of wavering but we quickly ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Ristolainen bump each other before a game this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Through seven years of losing, three Sabres have grown close

BUFFALO – Sabres center Johan Larsson was standing beside defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen waiting for a practice drill to begin when he sensed an opportunity.

“(He) hits guys and tries to sneak up on you,” Larsson said of Ristolainen. “When you can, you got to find a little spot to get back at him.”

So Larsson, affectionately nicknamed “Angry Larry” by his teammates, gave his buddy a friendly shove Thursday on the KeyBank Center ice.

“He’s ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was injured Jan. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo could return from injuries Thursday

BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Victor Olofsson started practicing again Saturday, coach Ralph Krueger said the rookie might need another week before he could play.

But Olofsson went full tilt this afternoon, taking reps in his normal spots beside captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart and down low on the power play.

Meanwhile, Kyle Okposo, who returned for Tuesday’s morning skate, practiced in his regular spot at right wing with center Johan Larsson and ... Read the full article

The Sabres recalled Scott Wilson last week. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Simple style helping Sabres’ Scott Wilson thrive following recall

BUFFALO – Earlier in his career, Sabres winger Scott Wilson said he would often run around on the ice, a style that sapped his energy and took him out of plays.

Wilson, 27, realized he needed to embrace a simpler way.

“Being physical when I can but not running around like an idiot,” Wilson said after the turnover he helped create led to center Johan Larsson’s goal in Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson made 18 saves Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jonas Johansson looks solid in first NHL start

BUFFALO – In the midst of an awful stretch during another lost season, goalie Jonas Johansson’s first NHL start Thursday should’ve given the Sabres a spark.

Johansson’s arrival has created some excitement and intrigue. The Swede, 24, has enjoyed a terrific season with the Rochester Americans, winning 13 of his 20 appearances and receiving AHL All-Star honors.

While Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been tabbed the Sabres’ goalie of the future, Johansson, a third-round pick in ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey has been a strong checker for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jimmy Vesey focused on Sabres, not thinking about trade deadline

BUFFALO – The left winger beside top center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart has become a revolving-door position since Victor Olofsson suffered a lower-body injury last month.

Rookie Rasmus Asplund started off subbing for Olofsson. Jimmy Vesey took a brief turn before Zemgus Girgensons enjoyed the longest run.

Last week, Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Skinner, Eichel’s partner most of last season, moved up for about a period.

Now, Vesey, 26, is back on the No. ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella played two and a half seasons for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Marco Scandella living dream with hometown Canadiens

BUFFALO – Marco Scandella saw the end here coming. Not only did the Sabres have a surfeit of defensemen, he had an expiring contract.

Scandella, 29, knew he was a goner.

Still, when the Sabres traded him to his hometown Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2 in exchange for a fourth-round pick this year, he was stunned.

“You’re always in shock when you get traded,” Scandella said prior to Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Sabres, ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel beats Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel’s ‘moment of brilliance’ helps Sabres beat Golden Knights

BUFFALO – For two periods, the Vegas Golden Knights stymied Sabres captain Jack Eichel, keeping one of the NHL’s most dynamic stars in check.

In the opening 40 minutes Tuesday, Eichel registered zero shots on goal and committed an uncharacteristic gaffe, telegraphing an ill-advised pass from deep in his own.

“I definitely made some bad turnovers,” Eichel said after scoring a scintillating game-winning goal late in the Sabres’ 4-2 victory inside KeyBank Center.

While the ... Read the full article