Cody Eakin takes a faceoff against the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad on Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Cody Eakin, Tobias Rieder and Sabres’ other newcomers already contributing

BUFFALO – With 33 seconds remaining Tuesday and the Sabres clinging to a one-goal lead against the New York Rangers, coach Ralph Krueger sent out center Cody Eakin to take a critical draw in his own zone.

Eakin has quickly become a trusted faceoff specialist, winning 59.4% this season. With winger Taylor Hall serving a boarding penalty and goalie Alexandar Georgiev on the bench for an extra attacker, the Sabres desperately needed the puck.

Eakin ... Read the full article

Riley Sheahan signed a one-year contract with the Sabres on Jan. 8. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Riley Sheahan fitting in well with Sabres: ‘He does everything right’

BUFFALO – The Sabres haven’t found many Riley Sheahan-types – a low-cost role player capable of providing valuable minutes and moving around the lineup – over the past decade.

Myriad factors have contributed to the Sabres’ struggles, and their inability to add depth through trades or free agency ranks near the top of the list.

But the versatile Sheahan, 29, quickly established himself after signing a professional tryout contract to attend training camp. He earned ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar scored twice Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar, fourth line help Sabres annihilate Flyers, earn first win

Late in the first period Monday, Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar grabbed the puck at the blue line, skated into the left circle and backhanded a shot underneath the crossbar.

Then after the Sabres grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lazar sealed the Sabres’ first win in the second period, connecting on a nifty pass from linemate Riley Sheahan in front of the net.

When the Sabres, NHL lightweights for nearly a ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates in front of Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres outplay Capitals, can’t exploit rookie goalie: ‘We made him look good’

BUFFALO – A night after the Sabres looked like they hadn’t played a game in 10 months, they settled down defensively, generated offense and outplayed the Washington Capitals.

Of course, it did not result in a win for the Sabres, who couldn’t exploit Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in his NHL debut.

“I think we made him look good,” defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen said on a Zoom call after Friday’s 2-1 loss at KeyBank Center dropped the ... Read the full article

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article

Eric Staal left Thursday’s game after taking an elbow to the jaw. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal to be game-time decision against Capitals

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal, who left Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals after getting elbowed in the jaw, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s rematch, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Update: Staal will play tonight.

If Staal can’t play, Kruger said newcomer Riley Sheahan will be moved to center. Sheahan played right wing beside center Curtis Lazar and Jeff Skinner in the season opener.

“We’ve got a backup plan,” Krueger said on a ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton enjoyed a terrific training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton earns opening night start

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger’s decision to award goalie Carter Hutton the opening night start against the Washington Capitals wasn’t surprising.

Yes, Hutton, 35, struggled most of last season, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. But his turnaround started at the end of 2019-20, when enjoyed a 6-2-0 run in February.

Hutton performed strongly throughout training camp this year, quickly morphing into one of the Sabres’ standouts. Meanwhile, goalie Linus Ullmark missed the ... Read the full article

Jack Quinn has impressed the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Prospect Jack Quinn still with Sabres, will be assigned to taxi squad

BUFFALO – On Wednesday morning, rookie Jack Quinn wasn’t among the five players the Sabres assigned to their new taxi squad.

But instead of practicing with the team’s main group at KeyBank Center, Quinn joined the taxi-squad players across the street inside LECOM Harborcenter.

Meanwhile, taxi-squad forward Rasmus Asplund skated with the Sabres’ main group.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said last week the practice groups would be adjusted every morning, so expect regular movement ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could make his NHL debut later this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ roster almost set; Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn to remain in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The 27 players who participated in Tuesday’s practice will start the season on the Sabres’ roster or taxi squad, coach Ralph Krueger said.

That means 19-year-old forward prospects Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s last two first-round picks, will remain in the NHL for now.

Of course, the Sabres must sort some things out before Thursday’s opener against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Krueger said center Curtis Lazar (lower-body injury) and ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (pictured) was recently moved beside center Curtis Lazar. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ralph Krueger confident Jeff Skinner will bounce back for Sabres

Two days after moving Jeff Skinner down the lineup, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he’s confident he and his staff can get the veteran winger in what he called “a good place.”

Skinner, 28, began training camp skating at left wing on the second line beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. But Krueger recently moved him down the lineup with center Curtis Lazar and newcomer Riley Sheahan.

Skinner struggled last year in ... Read the full article