Jason Botterill thinks Rasmus Ristolainen can keep developing. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill knows teams will ask about Rasmus Ristolainen

VANCOUVER – Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knows plenty of teams would like to pry away a 6-foot-4 defenseman capable of gobbling up minutes and producing points like Rasmus Ristolainen.

“We understand there’s going to be inquiries about him,” Botterill said Friday morning, hours before the NHL Draft inside Rogers Arena. “We’re open as an organization to continuing to try to find ways to improve our team. But we realize and we’re very ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville scored his 16th goal this season Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Fans, teammates celebrate Jason Pominville in rare Sabres win

BUFFALO – The crowd kept roaring. For more than a minute late in Thursday’s 5-2 win, the fans saluted one of their favorites, winger Jason Pominville, after he capped off an emotional day by scoring perhaps his last goal for the Sabres.

The noise wouldn’t stop after Pominville, 36, was announced as the scorer, so after receiving a signal from his teammates, one of the greatest players in franchise history skated to center ice ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe hadn't played since March 2. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jake McCabe returns to lineup as Marco Scandella leaves

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ beleaguered blue line received a much-needed addition Sunday, as Jake McCabe returned after missing 13 games.

Did it help? Well, no. The Columbus Jackets throttled the Sabres 4-0 inside KeyBank Center.

McCabe hadn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury March 2.

Defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a shot in Saturday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders, missed Sunday’s contest. Housley said the Sabres will know more about Scandella’s ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin never saw a live NHL game until last year. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Swedish Sabres excited about playing games in Stockholm

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin grew up far away from the NHL in Trollhattan, Sweden, a city of 46,000 about a three- or four-hour car ride from Stockholm.

“Most of my friends have never seen an NHL game before,” the rookie said Thursday inside KeyBank Center.

So the thought of playing two regular-season games in front of his family and friends next season had Dahlin smiling Thursday. The Sabres will face the Tampa Bay ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has scored 15 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville odd man out again

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.

Nine contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.

So the Sabres scratched Pominville, 36, for the second straight game Wednesday.

“It’s just the situation we’re at,” Pominville said prior to the 4-2 loss ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville also sat out Sunday afternoon. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jason Pominville to sit out again versus Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.

Ten contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.

So Pominville, 36, will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sabres coach Phil Housley inserted Vladimir ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton makes a shootout stop on St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly to secure Sunday afternoon's win. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres end losing streak, get building roaring again

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo heard the crowd roaring and wanted in on the action.

For a 27-second stretch late in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 shootout win, the Sabres started thumping every opponent in sight.

The normally docile fans inside KeyBank Center grew louder and louder with each hit.

So Okposo wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to hit St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.... Read the full article

Jason Pominville doesn't think the Sabres' road struggles are in the players' heads. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres have been awful on road for three months

BUFFALO – Since their 10-game winning streak ended Nov. 29 in Tampa Bay, the Sabres have been downright awful on the road, compiling the NHL’s worst record, a wretched 3-14-3 mark.

Road games, of course, can be tougher. For example, the visitor has the last change. The environment can be unsettling.

Still, every other team has won at least six road contests over that stretch and earned at least 13 points.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has quietly enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart enjoys first hat trick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – On the first of his three goals Saturday afternoon, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart showcased a little flash.

After grabbing center Evan Rodrigues’ nifty one-handed pass, Reinhart unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, beating Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby over the right shoulder 12:51 into the 5-2 win.

Later in the contest, Reinhart put the Sabres up two goals again, sealing the game by tipping defenseman Matt Hunwick’s shot in front ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner tries to score on New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner on Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Timely goals, strong defense help Sabres down Islanders

BUFFALO – Suddenly, after weeks of regularly shirking their duties and allowing four or five goals a game, the Sabres have started clamping down defensively.

The results? Two wins over a three-game stretch while giving up just five goals. Following some downright awful defensive displays earlier in their seven-game home stand, the Sabres have finally started showcasing structure again.

Tuesday’s 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders doesn’t rank among their most exciting triumphs this ... Read the full article