Goalie Linus Ullmark stops Washington's Nicklas Backstrom in the Sabres' final game of the season March 9. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Another win could’ve earned Sabres path to playoffs in bizarre season

Throughout their nine-year playoff drought, the Buffalo Sabres have consistently ranked among the NHL’s bottom-feeders. Only once in that ugly stretch – in 2011-12, the season their run of futility began – have they contended for a postseason spot.

Eight years ago, the Sabres roared back from last place, briefly grabbing a spot before falling apart in the waning days of the season.

There haven’t been many what-ifs during the sorriest stretch in franchise history. ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson played six games with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send Jonas Johansson to Amerks; Linus Ullmark ready to dress

BUFFALO – With goalie Linus Ullmark ready to back up Carter Hutton tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres sent rookie Jonas Johansson back to the Rochester Americans on Friday.

A lower-body injury has sidelined Ullmark, 26, the last 17 games. He started practicing again Monday.

“It’s just the next step,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said of Ullmark dressing for a game. “We’re being patient in this process and making sure that he’s game ready, ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson has played five NHL games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Expect Sabres to evaluate over final month; Jonas Johansson to start in goal

BUFFALO – Face it, the Sabres are playing for pride. Their four-game losing streak has kicked them out of the playoff chase.

So expect them to evaluate and even experiment a bit over the final 16 games, starting tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center.

That means rookie goalie Jonas Johansson will start tonight, his second nod in three games.

Under normal circumstances, goalie Carter Hutton would likely face the Penguins. The veteran has ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson watches the puck in Sunday afternoon's game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jonas Johansson dazzles in first NHL win

BUFFALO – After receiving two starts early in his NHL career, Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson took a backseat to veteran Carter Hutton two weeks ago.

Hutton’s emergence from a long slump allowed the Sabres to utilize him regularly again.

So Johansson, a rookie the Sabres recalled when Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury, patiently waited to play another game.

Prior to earning his first NHL victory in Sunday’s afternoon 2-1 win against the Winnipeg ... 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

Linus Ullmark has missed 10 games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark skating again after suffering lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark, out the last 10 games after suffering an upper-body injury Jan. 28, has started skating again, coach Ralph Krueger said.

“He’s got some skates on now, which is obviously an important step to be taking, and let’s see how it goes,” Krueger said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “But we are optimistic about the way rehab is going at this point. There’s been no setbacks and he’s on schedule.”... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has won four straight starts. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Carter Hutton, Johan Larsson expected to face Senators

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger expects goalie Carter Hutton and center Johan Larsson to play against the Ottawa Senators despite their absence from Monday’s practice for maintenance.

Meanwhile, the Sabres announced illness will keep winger Michael Frolik from playing tonight. The Czech did not travel with the team to Ottawa. He also missed Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We’re not worried about any of these injuries,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel saves some of his best outings for Toronto. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel tells Maple Leafs fans to sit down after scoring in Sabres win

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel smirked when he heard the question. The captain had just scored the game-winning goal, igniting a late outburst that cemented a critical victory against the Sabres’ fiercest rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Clearly, Eichel revels in beating the Leafs and sending their legions of loud fans – they comprised at least 60% of Sunday’s capacity crowd inside KeyBank Center – home unhappy.

“I enjoy it,” was all Eichel would say following ... Read the full article

The Sabres also recalled Andrew Hammond last week. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres make more moves, recall Andrew Hammond, John Gilmour

BUFFALO – With goalie Carter Hutton absent from Saturday’s practice for maintenance, the Sabres recalled Andrew Hammond from the Rochester Americans.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said Hutton’s absence isn’t related to the hit he took from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Eric Robinson in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime win.

A puck also hit Hutton in mask earlier in the night.

“We’re quite optimistic about his rehab day today,” Krueger said when asked about Hutton’s status for tonight’s ... Read the full article