BUFFALO – For 67 games this season, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger refused to play center Jack Eichel and winger Jeff Skinner together for any notable stretch.
Other than some occasional shifts, Krueger kept the lethal duo separated before reuniting them for Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.
Krueger has often explained he likes balancing the lines by placing a defensive presence on each one. So Skinner, who scored a career-high 40 goals playing beside Eichel last season, ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Having dropped all four games of their recent road trip, the Sabres sealed their fate long before Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the Sabres haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs, they will earn their eighth straight DNQ in the coming weeks.
Barely two weeks ago, the Sabres’ slick offense helped them roar back into the playoff race. They scored 23 goals over a six-game stretch, winning five times.
They ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Sabres newcomer Wayne Simmonds has a reached a critical point in his career. The 12-year veteran needs to play meaningful games. Staying another six weeks with the hapless New Jersey Devils wouldn’t have helped him much.
Simmonds, 31, has endured the worst season of his NHL career. Given his age and declining production – just eight goals in 61 games this season – he needs to demonstrate he still possesses the skills that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Before the Sabres terminated Zach Bogosian’s contract, general manager Jason Botterill said the team tried on its own and worked with the defenseman to find a solution.
“It didn’t materialize,” Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center.
So the Sabres cut ties with Bogosian, 29, on Friday, putting him on termination waivers after he was suspended for refusing to report the Rochester Americans. The Sabres originally waived the Massena native Feb. 14.
On ... Read the full article
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
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
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
BUFFALO – Prior to this season, Sabres forward Marcus Johansson hadn’t played center regularly since 2010-11, his rookie year.
Sure, Johansson briefly moved back to the middle a few years ago when the Washington Capitals needed help. But the Swede has spent the majority of his 637-game NHL career playing wing.
“I’m used to (wing), I think,” said Johansson, who returned for Sunday’s 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center following a ... Read the full article