Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.

But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.

Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Meanwhile, Johansson, ... 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

Jimm Vesey was scratched Saturday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Struggling Sabres haven’t quit on rough season

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.

Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.

How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has started scoring goals again. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger finally puts Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner back together

BUFFALO – For 67 games this season, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger refused to play center Jack Eichel and winger Jeff Skinner together for any notable stretch.

Other than some occasional shifts, Krueger kept the lethal duo separated before reuniting them for Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.

Krueger has often explained he likes balancing the lines by placing a defensive presence on each one. So Skinner, who scored a career-high 40 goals playing beside Eichel last season, ... 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

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

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