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
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
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
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
BUFFALO – When Sabres winger Victor Olofsson started practicing again Saturday, coach Ralph Krueger said the rookie might need another week before he could play.
But Olofsson went full tilt this afternoon, taking reps in his normal spots beside captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart and down low on the power play.
Meanwhile, Kyle Okposo, who returned for Tuesday’s morning skate, practiced in his regular spot at right wing with center Johan Larsson and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Suddenly, goalie Carter Hutton has morphed into a difference-maker again, helping the Sabres secure tight games by making clutch stops in the waning minutes.
Hutton struggled for months, losing the No. 1 job and 13 straight starts. Before Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury, he had become a spare part, only playing when the Sabres had back-to-back games.
But in the last week, Hutton, 34, has began showcasing the early-season form that helped ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – At worst, you figured Sabres winger Jeff Skinner would score 25 or 30 goals this season. But having performed so dynamically most of last year, hitting 35 or even 40 again seemed possible.
Skinner and top Sabres captain Jack Eichel formed a lethal duo a year ago. For the first time in his career, Skinner, 27, had an elite center feeding him the puck, and he responded by scoring 40 goals.
When ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Victor Olofsson said he has never experienced anything like the lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last 13 games.
In his first seven years as a pro, the high-scoring Swede showcased terrific durability, never missing more than a couple weeks of action.
Then on Jan. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers, Olofsson’s left skate got caught in the ice, causing him to fall backwards.
“It was unfortunate, no one around me, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The 4-3 shootout loss was even hard for Ralph Krueger to spin. The coach explained the Sabres’ inability to convert their chances doomed them Thursday against the hapless Detroit Red Wings. He insisted his reeling team’s effort remained high.
But there’s no getting around the Sabres suffered a humiliating defeat. The Red Wings, the NHL’s worst team, are on pace for the worst season since the NHL implemented the salary cap in 2005.... Read the full article