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

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

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

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

Jonas Johansson made a relief appearance Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

In dreary season, Jonas Johansson’s first NHL start offers Sabres freshness

BUFFALO – In what has become another dreary season, goalie Jonas Johansson’s first NHL start tonight offers the Sabres some freshness.

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 has developed into a strong prospect.

The former third-round pick ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson has spent most of the season in Rochester. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres recall Scott Wilson from Amerks, send Jean-Sebastien Dea back

BUFFALO – The Sabres recalled winger Scott Wilson from the Rochester Americans this afternoon and sent forward Jean-Sebastien Dea back to the AHL club.

Dea, 25, went pointless in two appearances during his recall.

Wilson, 27, has spent most of the season with the Amerks, scoring nine goals and 18 points in 27 games. He recorded three goals and four points in five contests after the Sabres sent him Rochester following a two-game recall last ... Read the full article