Rasmus Ristolainen has enjoyed a bounce-back season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres succeeded in helping Rasmus Ristolainen transform game this season

“We’re continuing to try to set this team up where we’re putting (Rasmus Ristolainen) in positions to have success.”

– Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, Aug. 17, 2019

As their nine-year run of futility indicates, the Sabres rarely accomplish what they set out to do. The once-proud franchise has become a laughingstock.

Still, in the case of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres deserve credit for helping him develop a smarter, sturdier style as ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has an eight-game point drought. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart emerging from career-worst slump

BUFFALO – Late in Monday’s 3-2 shootout win, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart grabbed the puck along the right boards and skated below the goal line before quickly threading it through a cluster of defenders.

A second later, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour beat Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby from the edge of the left circle.

The play showcased some of Reinhart’s best talents – hockey sense, vision and adroit passing – and appeared to end his ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun scores the shootout winner against Washington goalie Braden Holtby on Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres win in shootout after late goal disallowed: ‘Soft, questionable call’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tried to choose his words carefully when asked if he knows what constitutes goalie interference.

“I’m gonna get in trouble for that one,” Skinner said with a smirk after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals ended the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. “I don’t know.”

Luckily, the questionable goalie interference call on Skinner that negated defenseman Brandon Montour’s goal with 2:48 left in regulation did not fluster the ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson has played five NHL games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Expect Sabres to evaluate over final month; Jonas Johansson to start in goal

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

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

Ryan Miller spent 11 seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Ryan Miller’s win in Buffalo special to goalie, Ducks

BUFFALO – On Thursday, the Sabres will celebrate “2000s Night,” bringing back Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and some other key figures from their wildly successful 2005-06 and 2006-07 teams that reached the Eastern Conference final.

Ryan Miller, the star goalie those seasons, can’t make it. As the only active NHL player left from those popular clubs, he will be in Anaheim for the Ducks’ game against the Calgary Flames.

“I’m actually going to ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour's season started late. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Brandon Montour gaining trust, earning big minutes

BUFFALO – Having piled up points throughout his career, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour understands he has earned a reputation.

“People that see me as a player, I think, over the years, they think it was just offense,” Montour said prior to Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche inside KeyBank Center.

Montour, 25, has averaged nine goals and 34 points in his two full NHL seasons. He put up 12 goals and 57 points in ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin missed Monday's practice. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres dealing with sickness, recall could be coming from Amerks

BUFFALO – In addition to what coach Ralph Krueger has termed some “light injuries,” the Sabres are dealing with some sickness going around the locker room.

So tonight’s lineup against the Colorado Avalanche isn’t set yet.

“I would love to be able to tell you the roster, but I have to be honest, we’re still assessing,” Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Krueger said two defensemen are being assessed. Rasmus Dahlin, who had ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin played in Saturday afternoon's game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin, Johan Larsson miss practice

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Johan Larsson had maintenance days today and will be evaluated prior to Tuesday’s home game against the Colorado Avalanche, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Meanwhile, defenseman Brandon Montour, a late scratch with a lower-body injury for Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, practiced today.

“Montour, we gave it a good shot today, and he’s just being assessed right now,” Krueger said inside KeyBank Center. “But ... Read the full article

Nathan Gerbe has played 16 games with Columbus this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Nathan Gerbe enjoying regular duty with Blue Jackets

BUFFALO – At first, learning the Columbus Blue Jackets had recalled him upset Nathan Gerbe a little. The former Sabres winger had just arrived home in Michigan for a short Christmas break from the Cleveland Monsters.

The affable Gerbe, 32, wanted to see his family. Instead, on Dec. 22 he hurried to Long Island for the Blue Jackets’ game the next day against the New York Islanders.

“I hadn’t seen them in a while,” Gerbe ... Read the full article