Wayne Simmonds hasn't experienced a win with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving no-trade clause

BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.

The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.

So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe scores a short-handed breakaway goal against Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray on Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to score goals again dooms them in loss to Penguins

BUFFALO – Having dropped all four games of their recent road trip, the Sabres sealed their fate long before Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

While the Sabres haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs, they will earn their eighth straight DNQ in the coming weeks.

Barely two weeks ago, the Sabres’ slick offense helped them roar back into the playoff race. They scored 23 goals over a six-game stretch, winning five times.

They ... 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

Jonas Johansson watches the puck in Sunday afternoon's game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jonas Johansson dazzles in first NHL win

BUFFALO – After receiving two starts early in his NHL career, Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson took a backseat to veteran Carter Hutton two weeks ago.

Hutton’s emergence from a long slump allowed the Sabres to utilize him regularly again.

So Johansson, a rookie the Sabres recalled when Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury, patiently waited to play another game.

Prior to earning his first NHL victory in Sunday’s afternoon 2-1 win against the Winnipeg ... 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

Evan Rodrigues has started producing some offense ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues stepping up game after trade request

BUFFALO – After playing 10 straight games, Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues will likely be scratched this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sabres winger Michael Frolik has recovered from a nasty bout with the flu and is set to return, meaning one forward must sit out.

Based on Friday’s practice lines, Rodrigues will be a healthy scratch for the first time since Jan. 28.

Rodrigues, 26, sat out regularly over the first two months, often serving ... Read the full article

Michael Frolik has missed two games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Michael Frolik set to return from flu

BUFFALO – Sabres forwards Jack Eichel, Michael Frolik and Kyle Okposo will likely play in Saturday afternoon’s road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“At the moment, everybody’s available,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said after the three players practiced this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Eichel and Okposo had maintenance days Thursday. The flu, meanwhile, sidelined Frolik the last two games.... 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

Linus Ullmark has missed 10 games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark skating again after suffering lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark, out the last 10 games after suffering an upper-body injury Jan. 28, has started skating again, coach Ralph Krueger said.

“He’s got some skates on now, which is obviously an important step to be taking, and let’s see how it goes,” Krueger said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “But we are optimistic about the way rehab is going at this point. There’s been no setbacks and he’s on schedule.”... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has compiled 14 points in his last 15 games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin showcasing evolving game, playing better defense

BUFFALO – When Rasmus Dahlin suffered a concussion in November, the injury created an opportunity for the Sabres defenseman.

Coach Ralph Krueger often says the Sabres utilize an injured player’s extra time by having “great coaching moments.”

So during his eight-game absence, Krueger said Dahlin, 19, studied film beside assistant coach Steve Smith, who runs the defense, multiple times.

“You can really calmly go through video and reflect and discuss,” Krueger said following Monday’s practice ... Read the full article