Jack Eichel beats Edmonton goalie Mike Smith on a penalty shot in overtime Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel scores on penalty shot in OT after Sabres lose Victor Olofsson

BUFFALO – For 10 seconds during the first minute of Thursday’s overtime, Sabres captain Jack Eichel stood behind his own net to recharge as his teammates changed.

Possession is critical in three-on-three overtime, especially with Edmonton Oilers superstars Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lurking nearby.

So Eichel wasn’t about to give the puck up. The center waited and waited and waited before the capacity crowd of 19,070 inside KeyBank Center.

At that point, Eichel had ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson (68) tries to get through some St. Louis players Dec. 10. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Victor Olofsson named NHL’s Rookie of Month for December

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, who led all first-year players with six goals and 14 points in 14 games in December, has earned NHL Rookie of the Month honors for the second time this season, the league announced today.

Olofsson, 24, was also named the top rookie for October.

The Swede quickly morphed into a top Calder Trophy candidate this season, scoring six goals in the first seven games. He also set an ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues has scored zero goals this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues on trade request: ‘I just want to play hockey’

“I have all the confidence in my ability, I have all the confidence in my defensive ability, I have all the confidence in my speed and my skill to play with everyone in this league.”

– Evan Rodrigues, Sept. 23, 2019

BUFFALO – Barely three months ago, Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was brimming with confidence.

Fresh off a season in which he set career highs and showcased his versatility by playing 11 of the 12 ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar has spent most of his pro career in the NHL. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others for depth

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie shortly after free agency opened Monday, signing veteran Andrew Hammond.

Hammond, whose one-year, one-way deal is worth $700,000, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15 and earning “The Hamburglar” nickname.

Overall, Hammond, 31, has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts ... Read the full article

Andrew Hammond enjoyed an amazing rookie season with Ottawa in 2014-15. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres add depth, sign Andrew Hammond, Curtis Lazar and others

BUFFALO – As general manager Jason Botterill promised, the Sabres added a third goalie today, signing veteran Andrew Hammond to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Hammond, 31, is best known for compiling a 20-1-2 record as a rookie with the Ottawa Senators in 2014-15.

Overall, Hammond has put together a 27-15-6 mark with a 2.31 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and four shutouts in 56 career NHL outings.

Hammond spent last season with the Iowa ... Read the full article

The Sabres open their home schedule Oct. 5 against Taylor Hall and New Jersey. ©2019, Hickling Images

2019-20 Sabres schedule features early trip to Sweden, long winter break

BUFFALO – A two-game early-November series against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Sweden, a Dec. 10 visit from Ryan O’Reilly and the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues and a nine-day January break are among the highlights of the 2019-20 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released today.

The Sabres open their 50th anniversary season Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh against superstar Sidney Crosby’s Penguins before returning for their home opener Oct. 5 versus former Hart Trophy ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel pins the Sabres' woes on the players. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ inability to find coaching stability has contributed to demise

BUFFALO – In less than five seasons with the Sabres, defenseman Zach Bogosian has already played for three coaches.

“Three coaches in this amount of years, you’ve got to really take a long, hard look (at yourself),” Bogosian said Monday, a day after the Sabres fired Phil Housley following an awful second half.

Not long ago, the Sabres were a model of coaching stability. Lindy Ruff lasted through three ownership regimes over 16 years. When ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel had never been suspended. ©2019, Hickling Images

NHL suspends Sabres’ Jack Eichel two games for illegal check to head

BUFFALO – The NHL has suspended Sabres captain Jack Eichel two games for an illegal check to Avalanche forward Carl Soderberg’s head in Saturday afternoon’s 3-0 loss in Colorado.

Eichel, the Sabres’ leading scorer with 72 points in 65 appearances, will miss two home games: Tuesday’s against the Dallas Stars and Thursday’s versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In announcing the suspension Sunday night, the NHL Department of Player Safety said Eichel could’ve avoided head contact with ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen is a minus-33 this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen frustrated by struggles

BUFFALO – The statistic has dogged Rasmus Ristolainen throughout his six-year NHL career. It has never improved, even after the Finn morphed into the Sabres’ top workhorse and a 40-point defenseman.

Since Oct. 3, 2013, the start of Ristolainen’s rookie season, he has compiled the league’s worst plus-minus rating, an awful minus-135 over 412 games.

How ugly is that number? Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has accumulated the second-worst rating over that stretch, a minus-93 ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner and Edmonton's Connor McDavid (97) battle Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Second-period outburst helps Oilers down Sabres

BUFFALO – Late in the second period Monday, barely two minutes after Zack Kassian’s goal ignited the Edmonton Oilers, Sabres winger Jason Pominville committed a rare defensive-zone gaffe.

Pominville sensed a battled coming along the left boards, so he zeroed in on the puck. As he followed the play, he lost track of his man, allowing Darnell Nurse to slip past him from the point into the left circle.

A second later, the Oilers defenseman ... Read the full article