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

Evan Rodrigues said Pittsburgh expects to win every game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Former Sabre Evan Rodrigues knows why Penguins enjoy so much success

BUFFALO – In their first days with Pittsburgh, ex-Sabres Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary experienced more losing. The forwards joined the powerhouse Penguins during what would become their longest losing streak since the 2011-12 season.

Rodrigues quickly learned more than talent separates his new team, which won three Stanley Cups over a nine-year stretch, from the Sabres.

“They just have such a calming presence, there’s no real panic in the room,” Rodrigues said prior to ... 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

Conor Sheary returned to Pittsburgh last week. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Former Sabres Conor Sheary, Evan Rodrigues fitting in with Penguins

BUFFALO – In a little less than two seasons with the Sabres, Conor Sheary rarely played beside top center Jack Eichel. Instead, the winger often shuffled between the second and third lines as he struggled to score goals.

But in the four games since the Sabres traded him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins with forward Evan Rodrigues on Feb. 24, Sheary has received a plum assignment, skating beside superstar Sidney Crosby.

Sheary has gone from ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds waived his no-trade clause to leave New Jersey. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres deal aggressively, trade for Wayne Simmonds, Dominik Kahun

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ core group of young players has never played a meaningful late-season NHL game. This upcoming stretch will be a new experience.

A perfect weekend moved the Sabres to within six points of the Atlantic Division’s final playoff spot with 20 games remaining. A team given up for dead has roared back into the postseason hunt.

So Sabres general manager Jason Botterill dealt aggressively before Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring winger Wayne Simmonds... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Conor Sheary in June 2018. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trade Evan Rodrigues, Conor Sheary to Penguins

BUFFALO – The Sabres have traded forwards Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for center Dominik Kahun.

Rodrigues, 26, reportedly quested a trade earlier this season after his playing time dwindled. The Sabres scratched him in both games before this afternoon’s trade deadline.

Meanwhile, Sheary, 27, has returned to Pittsburgh, where he won the Stanley Cup twice. The Penguins traded Sheary to the Sabres in June 2018.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored two goals Saturday afternoon. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres throttle Penguins early, cruise to rare win in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – The response was perhaps the Buffalo Sabres’ most emphatic all year.

Four days after suffering a brutal loss, the Sabres throttled the Penguins early in Saturday afternoon’s 5-2 victory, scoring 14 seconds into the game and opening up a 3-0 lead by the 10:55 mark.

When the Penguins scored about halfway through the game, the Sabres barely flinched.

“After the (3-1) goal there was a short little moment of wavering but we quickly ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hadn't scored a goal since Dec. 2. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jeff Skinner scores goal against Penguins, ends long slump

PITTSBURGH – After ending his career-long 23-game goal drought, Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner said he did not really feel a sense of relief.

“I felt pretty good,” Skinner said after scoring 5:39 into the third period of Saturday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Penguins. “I don’t know. I feel like I scored a few times and usually it feels pretty good. I don’t know.

“You can use ‘relief,’ I guess, if that sort of ... 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

Conor Sheary scored twice Thursday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres dominate Penguins early, win Ralph Krueger’s debut as coach

PITTSBURGH – Throughout training camp, coach Ralph Krueger insisted his Sabres had embraced the new ideas he and his coaching staff brought to Buffalo.

Krueger wants the Sabres to play fast, stay connected and utilize their instincts. It might take sacrificing a little offense, but in the end, he believes they can reap rewards from the aggressive new approach.

Based on Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win against the Penguins, Krueger’s message is getting through to the ... Read the full article